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FCW : July 15, 2014
GitHub 26 July 15, 2014 FCW.COM trol system Git developed in 2005 by Linux kernel creator Linus Torvalds. Other VCS platforms include Subver- sion (created by CollabNet and now part of Apache Software Foundation s ecosystem) and Perforce. Years before Git, SourceForge was the rst central- ized platform that allowed developers to share code and manage software development projects. Although GitHub hosts millions of open-source projects, the company retains all rights to the platform code, which is built using Ruby and Erlang. Open-source alternatives include Git, GitLab and Gitorious, each of which offers the ability to download the source code and use it freely on inter- nal development environments, similar to GitHub Enterprise but without the associated licensing fees. The history In many ways, the rise of open source in government in recent years is a direct correlation with GitHub s growth and its attractiveness to in u- ential early-adopter agencies, includ- ing NASA, the Federal Communica- tions Commission and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Today, government and civic hackers open-source accomplishments are synonymous with shiny new GitHub repositories. But GitHub isn t government s rst foray into version control and code repositories. The Defense Department launched Forge.mil, a centralized plat- form available only to DOD collabora- tors, in 2009. From a technical perspec- tive, rather than being a uni ed code base, Forge.mil is an integration of the content management system Drupal and the proprietary version control system CollabNet. GitHub s big government break- through came in May 2012 at Tech- Crunch Disrupt, when U.S. CIO Steven VanRoekel, alongside Chief Technol- ogy Officer Todd Park, introduced the Obama administration s Digital Government Strategy, which calls for agencies to "participate in open-source communities." At the conference, VanRoekel announced that the White House would begin publishing to GitHub, and officials subsequently released the complete code base of the "We the People" online petition platform. The larger wave of government GitHub adoption came with the implementa- tion of the digital strategy, and since then, federal agencies have been on a social coding spree. Today, more than 300 government agencies are using the platform for public and private development. Cit- ies (Chicago, Philadelphia, San Fran- cisco), states (New York, Washington, Utah) and countries (United Kingdom, Australia) are sharing code and paving a new road to civic collaboration. Civic-focused organizations --- such as the OpenGov Foundation, the Sun- light Foundation and the Open Knowl- edge Foundation --- are also actively involved with original projects on GitHub. Those projects include the OpenGov Foundation s Madison doc- ument-editing tool touted by the likes of Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and the Open Knowledge Foundation s CKAN, which powers hundreds of government data platforms around the world. According to GovCode, an aggrega- tor of public government open-source projects hosted on GitHub, there have been hundreds of individual contribu- A GitHub glossary... Fork: How other users copy a repo and repurpose it. Gist: A simple way to share code snippets without committing to a full repo. Git: An open-source, distributed version control system that allows any- one, anywhere to collaborate on code. GitHub uses Git version control. Issues: A way for people to submit feature requests or bugs that others can then comment on and help resolve. Pull request: How users contribute code to a repo. If the owner accepts it, the code is "merged" into the main project. Repo: Short for "repository"; this is where an open-source project lives. ...and some agency examples 18f.github.io/API-All-the-X In addition to a rapidly growing code collection, the General Services Admin- istration's new IT development shop has created a "/Developer program" to "provide comprehensive support for any federal agency engaged in the production or use of APIs. " cfpb.github.io The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has built a full-blown website on GitHub to showcase the software and design work its employees are doing. github.com/whitehouse Most of the repos here relate to Drupal-driven websites. But the White House has also shared its iOS and Android apps, which together have been forked nearly 400 times.
June 15, 2014
July 30, 2014