Over the last couple years, many of us involved with open source in government have had discussions about what it means for citizen coders to become involved in state, local and federal efforts. There are all kinds of legal, ethical, and logistics questions that haven't been answered. Everyone... Read more
Is there such a thing as the open source community? A related question was covered here before, about whether the word community means anything anymore. But, I still see the term “the open source community” regularly lobbed.
Co-author: Bascha Harris What if you woke up one day, and every file on your computer in a particular format—say all your word processing documents, or all your photographs—no longer worked? Not that big of a deal, right? Just a few photos or files. But what if you're a photographer and it's your... Read more
For decades, first responders have dealt with a lack of interoperable communications products. The 9/11 Commission Report1 and the Katrina Report2 both concluded that the absence of interoperable communications among public safety organizations at the local, state, and federal levels was a serious... Read more
I'm setting up a new computer. I get through the registration screens, install my software, change my wallpaper, and everything's working fine. I'm left, though, with a lingering, uneasy feeling: I don't know if this machine is secure. I'm a computer guy, so I know how to set up strong passwords... Read more
Jonathan Rauch wrote in the National Journal Saturday on the “radical decentralization” of the tea party. A “Tea Party Patriots coordinator and co-founder” talks about it this way: “I use the term open-source politics. This is an open source movement.... The movement as a whole is smart.”
So 19 months into the Open Government Directive, we seem to have a backlash. The government has spent millions of dollars collecting, organizing, and cataloging its data to make it more available to the public. An unprecedented effort. Some of this data is frivolous, some of it is valuable, but I... Read more
We probably all remember the first time we tried open source. Maybe you were peer-pressured, even adventurous. Or maybe you gave it a try only to find someone looking on disapprovingly, and quickly pretended you were doing something else. My story starts back in an environmental economics course in... Read more
The GSA is currently planning forge.gov, which is widely assumed to be based on forge.mil, the much-discussed collaboration platform from the Defense Information Systems Agency, or DISA. forge.mil is a pretty incredible idea: a single destination for testing, certification, and software development... Read more
Last post, I discussed how governments, especially state and local, should be thinking differently about the ways they engage online with the people they serve.