Back in 2008 I did a special segment in my “Secrets In Websites” series for the 2008 Presidential Elections. It was quite popular (almost crashed the server). I decided to do it again, but slightly revised for 2012.
I noted in January that WhiteHouse.gov relaunched for the Obama administration using a closed source infrastructure (it was using ASP.NET on IIS 6.0) running a proprietary CMS.
It has now relaunched using open source Drupal. Also interesting is that it’s no longer broadcasting any headers regarding it’s server.
Considering Drupal is by far better tested on a Unix OS andApache, I’m wondering if they dropped Windows Server/IIS 6.0 in favor of some sort of Linux and Apache. I can’t find any hint at what they are using.
It’s noteworthy that Drupal was already used on recovery.gov and has been used in politics by way of CivicSpace for the Dean campaign in 2004.
Via Drupal it’s still using jQuery (verison 1.2.6). It’s also now using RSS rather than ATOM for feeds, which I presume is by way of the switch to Drupal rather than an intentional effort.
Another interesting change is they tweaked the doctype from XHTML Transitional to XHTML+RDFa.
Pretty much everything else is still the same including the design. Analytics is still done using WebTrends (holdover from the Bush administration) and Akamai still sits in front of their servers.
For CSS hackers: They still choose conditional CSS for IE compatibility.
Their pages don’t fully validate anymore, though there is no terrible markup either.
Video is still done using Flash, maybe they’ll consider adopting HTML5 video. They could do so and fallback to Flash. The latest versions of Firefox, Safari, and Chrome could take advantage of it today. The rest of the browsers would get the Flash experience. That would be the next major step in opening up. Mark Pilgrim has a good primer if they need.
Edit [9/26/2009 @ 1:45 PM EST]: Tim O’Reilly confirms it is indeed running on LAMP, specifically Red Hat Linux with Apache, MySQL and obviously PHP. Apache Solr is used for search.