When the White House released the source code on Github for its new iPhone and Android mobile apps at the same time they launched them today, it set a new high water mark for open source in government.
Rhetoric about “We the Coders” has been matched by action, with code developed for the people released back to the people for “civic hackers and local organizations” to adapt and use.
This White House has taken unprecedented steps to make open source part of open government for some time now, from open sourcing Data.gov to the IT Dashboard to contributing to Drupal.
Open source is now playing an important role in open government, although it’s hardly a precondition for it. It’s also not a partisan effort: House.gov moved to Drupal last year and Congressman Issa has indicated his intention to open source the MADISON platform.