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Patrick Chanezon about Platforms and Software Development


Whitehouse.gov uses an ecclectic, non-partisan mix of technologies

January 21st, 2009 · No Comments

After all the fuss about http://www.whitehouse.gov/robots.txt yesterday, I did a view source and a few searches to see what they were using to build WhiteHouse.gov.

Sam Allen has a good analysis, especially of the performance aspects: I’m in the middle of reading Steve Souders‘ High Performance Websites and many of his advices are followed on the whitehouse site (gzip, using a cdn, Vary: Accept-Encoding), not all.

The site uses many open web standards: the main page is valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional (even if the search results are not), it contains links to 6 application/atom+xml feeds, uses the excellent jquery javascript library (they could serve it from the Google Ajax Libraries source, but they have their own CDN so they don’t need to), and a lib created by a Googler from the Gears/Chrome team, Aaron Boodman‘s dom-drag for drag and drop. The website team is asking users with disabilities to review the site’s accessibility: I hope that my colleague T.V. Raman will review it for them:-)

Whitehouse.gov also uses Microsoft IIS 6.0 as it’s server, the application seems to be asp.net (.aspx), and loads swfobjects.js, probably to instantiate Adobe Flash Player, but I have not found where this is used (the slideshows are driven by JCarousel)

The current source of http://www.whitehouse.gov/ is a really good pragmatic non-partisan mix of technologies that resonates well with Obama’s inauguration speech.

PS: I have a bug report for the White House blog feed. It validates, but the Atom id for all 3 entries is the same, urn:uuid:ca4baafc-b6bc-45e5-9144-79c5289d9518, while the entry elements obviously represent different entries. That should be a simple fix to make.

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