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Drupal Knows Best? The White House Debate Continues

BY Nancy Scola | Thursday, October 29 2009

We linked yesterday to a piece from Slate's Chris Wilson in which he made the case that White House's switch to the open-source content management system Drupal for its WhiteHouse.gov site and related projects was a horrible, miserable mistake. Now Conor McNamara, developer with the web firm DPCI, offers a point-by-point refutation of Wilson's main arguments, rooted in Drupal's admittedly unique way of doing things. Where Wilson says "Drupal knows best," for example, McNamara counters with, "No, Drupal is cautious about which users can do what, and with good reason." McNamara also more eloquently explores something we rambled on about yesterday: that whatever Drupal's challenges and quirks on the back end might be, what matters is the end users' experience with WhiteHouse.gov. Worth a read.

(A source challenges the wisdom of taking Wilson's advice on these matters at face value by sending along a link to a studiously contrarian piece from May 2008 in which Wilson advocated that Barack Obama drop out of the Democratic primary. The premise? Hillary Clinton would go down in defeat against John McCain, and a chastened Democratic party would anoint Obama its leader going into 2012.)

(Photo credit: Andre Molnar, via Volacci)