I'll believe that when his administration stops being one of the most secretive and most aggressive prosecutors of whistleblowers in recent history.
I submitted a pull request that tones down the hyperbole somewhat: https://github.com/WhiteHouse/petition/pull/5
I sense it's essential for them to keep the project focused on the software. Partly what makes this interesting is managing the partisan nature of discourse. That's a unique non-functional requirement here.
It's a good test for Github as a collaboration platform.
(In case it's relevant: I'm from the UK.)
Is "recent history" the last four years? Because you're right. Out of 1 administration, they are one of the most secretive and most aggressive. How about that.
I am going to use this phrase, thanks.
I generally use the example of a slave given sudden democracy: now they can vote which of two slave owners they want to be a slave to.
Vote, no vote: they're still a slave.
Sometimes, "choice" doesn't matter at all.
*if anyone wants to contest this, please read "no apologies" authored by Willard mitt Romney or just look at his tax returns
People need to think things through sometimes.
OK, I'll bite. Who is now aware of the issue who wasn't previously?
The majority of HN readers and GH users would immediately close issues / pull requests like this and be bitter about it. I don't understand why there is a double standard being applied here.
We should also note that making this software open (which is actually pretty badly designed, actually looking at it) is a similar farce. The objective they claim, for doing so, is somehow related to an open government. That's like claiming open-sourcing the software you use to send electronic messages back and forth is making your actual communications with said software "open." Nonsense.
How about the fact he is contributing and trying to make the government better and more open instead of whinging like an immature, sanctimonious dick.
I have 100x more respect for people that at least try.
Give them the benefit of the doubt that maybe, just maybe, they have good intentions; clone the repo and and say, "Thank you".
Otherwise it is pretty mindless to attack the programmers for that.
So I don't know what your argument is. But I assure you I do have 100x more respect for someone who does SOMETHING in the right direction as opposed to do someone who just whinges.
Anyway, rejecting pull requests with patronizing responses is hardly uncommon on Github.
It looks like we're at or just barely over the 50% mark in favor of legalizing marijuana here in Washington, but there's a lot of moneyed interests (e.g. medical marijuana sellers) who are doing their best to kill the initiative.
Please note that I don't smoke pot. I might if it's legalized in the state, but choose not to because, among other reasons, it helps fund narco-terrorism.
2008: Rag tag, understaffed, throw them into the deep end working on rewarding projects that made small strides toward advancing the infrastructure of technology in politics and bring widespread public attention that gave hope for burgeoning markets and a space for competition. A new frontier! Technological solutions for campaigns and the American people!
2012: Best and the brightest fighting to uphold the principles, ideals, and best practices of all veins of the technology industry but they only actually let them do their jobs in order to give lip service to what got those young talented people so excited and what got them there in the first place, and they only let them do it if there's a blatantly obvious way to save face if it backfires, or in a subtly insulting way.
Its a beat down for uppity youngsters who thought they might be able to, I don't know, start a business, or run for office, or provide solutions in the political realm. Technology in politics is a victim of its own success. Politicos don't see technology as way to connect with people and do their jobs better. They see it as stealing their thunder because they don't know how to control it yet. They don't understand the rules so everyone, down to the president himself seems to be spending more time playing whack-a-potential-political-zuck than doing their own job. The only thing we can hope that that eventually they'll be spending so much time preventing technology workers in politics from doing their job that they won't have enough time to screw over voters as much.
People who do not use the website should be totally ignored, regardless of their votes in the actual election.
Otherwise, the President is ignoring petitions and hates Democracy.
However, repeated studies and surveys show that it is easier for teens to get certain drugs, including pot, than it is for them to get cigarettes or alcohol. This make sense considering someone mandated by law to check for id is selling it to them, oppose to another teen selling them unchecked, non taxed pot without doing so.
While this thread may be about the white house's code base, hear this; don't put your github account near this. You may think it could be harmless, but they could be collecting your account names. After all we are all just dangerous computer hackers!
Disclaimer: Just my opinion.
0.024% of the US signed that one, and it wasn't ignored. A response was given. Not liking the response isn't the same as it being ignored.
You also skipped over the part where the response given was bullshit boilerplate and amounted to ignoring it.
At that point, why have petitions at all? It's just handwaving.
"the response given was bullshit boilerplate"
Well I guess he assumed correctly.
If you really want petitions, start a real petition. The website is for something much more informal and you shouldn't get depressed just because 4chan isn't setting policy now.
And the response largely ignored the thrust of the petition. I.e. that the side effects of prohibition are worse than the effects of the substance.
All in all, the release of this code was probably for two reasons. 1) The developers liked what they built for the government, and felt that people should be able to use/learn from it. 2) Releasing the code with the readme it has shines a good light on Obama and helps his reelection efforts.
You just didn't like the answer. At least be intellectually honest.
"The project utilizes code licensed under the terms of the GNU General Public License and therefore is licensed under GPL v2 or later."
While I applaud this effort and wish to see more like it in the future, is there a possible issue with licensing here?
I am having a hard time finding a model for (or even discussion about) what happens when government works have been derived from copyrighted material. Anyone know of another example?
But I'm assuming that since there is no copyright to the additions, from a copyright point of view it's essentially equivalent to the software from which it's derived.
Also, it is not as simple as you think, government code isn't always pd. If written by a contractor, the contractor/contracting organization can decide to not release code/work to the public.
Finally, if this code was written by Macon's team, and not by contractors, then you could maybe make an argument that the parts of the code that came from original gpl parts would be gpl'd, but not the code written by the wh team that doesn't depend on the gpl'd parts, as the code isn't distributed to end users the way the gpl mandates sharing.
Anyhow, I'm trying to simplify a lot here, but thought I'd chime in.
Actually it strikes me as a little strange that this code is on Github since Drupal.org has an entire section devoted to Drupal "distributions", which is what this appears to be. I mean, is the White House tech office moving to a full open source development model? Are they planning to appoint volunteer maintainers and accept pull requests? I sort of doubt it.
Also FWIW, the petition namespace on d.o is already occupied, perhaps that is blocking the release on d.o?
There's a lot of pressure from within the Drupal community to host all Drupal contrib modules, themes, and distributions on drupal.org but I don't see anything wrong with a distribution being hosted on GitHub. It certainly brings more visibility to the project from developers outside of the "Drupal Island".
And a lot of Drupal developers do use Github for their own work. On the other hand when they go to check out distribution options for a new project, I bet they start on Drupal.org. It's just so convenient, and like you say, there's a strong norm within the community to put everything there. Even the few "commercial" distributions can be found there. I assume this work will show up there at some point as well.
Seriously. Much ado about a Drupal module that is used for people to petition the government to be patronized and ignored.
I don't think a new generation is running things. That kennedy camelot spin was used in 2008, but it is 2012 now, and I don't see any evidence to support it. (EG: Pick your issue, Marijuana dispensaries are getting raided, the PATRIOT act has been expanded, the Afghan war is expanded, the TSA is now molesting and taking nude images of travelers, etc.)
But seriously, what'd you expect? The financial industry lost its place as the American poster boy, so the politicians needed something new with which to pretend they're relevant.
Besides, don't be such a buzz kill. Everyone gets laid at the Whitehouse. Everyone.
The White House letter, as murky and contradictory as it was, represented a clear break with its previous unequivocal support for the MPAA/RIAA position.
What is relevant is programs like this: http://www.whitehouse.gov/innovationfellows
I created a webapp where a user can author a form (with several different kinds of fields), then it syncs with a mobile app that downloads the forms and allows for data collecting.CouchDB supports synchronizing with a server very easily and already has mobile support to. If/when the user changes the number of fields in the webapp, starting to collect that data makes it very trivial... no need to schema 'alter' statements in the server and synced back to the sqlite db in the phone. It all runs couch and it "just works".
Mind you, I am very skeptical about NoSQL in general, but for this particular example, for the first time in my life, I saw a clear advantage.
- when JSON is the native language of your application, certain NoSQL implementations are beneficial. The value/need for this is changing with more RDBMS introductions of JSON datatypes.
- speed/ease of development/familiarity - sqlite is easy to set up and maintain for small installations/projects, so is mongo or couch or redis - fairly straightforward tradeoff
- leveraging other platforms. Quick example might be wanting to take advantage of Amazon Dynamo or SimpleDB. Sure, RDS is right there too and scales in a similar elastic fashion, but Dynamo especially feels much, MUCH more hands off in terms of redundancy and application design. We use Dynamo since day 1 of its release (we transitioned from mongoDB to Dynamo with 1 day of work) and have not looked back. In our particular project I cannot conceive of how or why we would want to use an RDBMS, it does not fit the task.
I'm not advocating for NoSQL over RDBMS in any given, or especially all, situations. But there are plenty of reasons to select nosql-based implementations.
Also, when I don't feel like dealing with the OR impedance mismatch.
Personally I have used it to speed up development. It allows very fast iterations early on and integrates much more nicely with most languages then a SQL based solution. Also its a lot faster the MySQL.
edit: Data stored in Drupal is way normalized, and read from a hell of a lot more than it's written to. I think in this case, when they weren't using it for general field storage, but just petitions and signatures which consist of endless names and links to user pages, the data was naturally denormalized enough. Nothing in that usecase would take more than three, maybe four joins. All it's doing in that case is just making upgrades difficult.
I can see the benefits of using something like NoSQL for temporary datastores (in memory only), but MySQL can function just fine as a key->value store as well to the best of my understanding.
So who developed THOMAS?
In this case the POINT of the software was supposed to be political expression, so it doesn't seem that out of place to me.
Right now the influence of this app is zero, so we don't have these problems. It's just a marketing dog-and-pony show where they can say "Look we're actually responding to people's questions" but the answers are extremely vague nothings and you have no idea if the President / Cabinet / anyone with real authority even reads the petitions that have 6- or 7-digit signature counts, let alone acting on them.
I don't know where the high expectations came from. But I might speculate that many people are starting from dislike of the President's policies and then from there tarring the website, rather than actually responding directly to the idea of the website.
"A totalitarian state simply enunciates official doctrine -- clearly, explicitly. Internally, one can think what one likes, but one can only express opposition at one's peril. In a democratic system of propaganda no one is punished (in theory) for objecting to official dogma. In fact, dissidence is encouraged. What this system attempts to do is to fix the limits of possible thought: supporters of official doctrine at one end, and the critics -- vigorous, courageous, and much admired for their independence of judgment -- at the other. The hawks and the doves. But we discover that all share certain tacit assumptions, and that it is these assumptions that are really crucial. No doubt a propaganda system is more effective when its doctrines are insinuated rather than asserted, when it sets the bounds for possible thought rather than simply imposing a clear and easily identifiable doctrine that one must parrot -- or suffer the consequences. The more vigorous the debate, the more effectively the basic doctrines of the propaganda system, tacitly assumed on all sides, are instilled. Hence the elaborate pretense that the press is a critical dissenting force -- maybe even too critical for the health of democracy -- when in fact it is almost entirely subservient to the basic principles of the ideological system: in this case, the principle of the right of intervention, the unique right of the United States to serve as global judge and executioner. It is quite a marvelous system of indoctrination."
-- Noam Chomsky, "Language and Responsibility" (1977)
But of course, that was then, today it's totally different, right? Right.