From PHP to Obama's Peaceful Transition to the Closed-Source Stack

January 20, 2009

The peaceful transition of power from George W. Bush to Barack H. Obama has been an amazing historical event to watch. At 12:01pm President Obama had already made Change happen on the internet with the new website. It is a beautiful, informative, and very Web 2.0. It uses jQuery and is fully XHTML 1.0 transitional compliant. It carries a similar look, feel, and tone as his website and personal website Underneath the covers a significant transition of power has occurred: Obama has moved from PHP to

A quick look at the HTML source from each of the websites shows plainly that and are powered by the open-source LAMP stack, and is powered by Microsoft’s closed-source stack. This change seems to go against the theme of transparency and progress which has taken Obama to the highest office in America.

Here’s to hoping this is a make-shift solution that satisfied pre-existing bureaucratic requirements. Does anyone in the blogosphere know what prompted this move?

The Obama web team should be proud of the outward facing changes it has brought to – it’s a much needed improvement on the outside. That said, I look forward to the peaceful transition of power that hands the keys to the White House Website back over to PHP. Until then, Obama web team, have fun debugging the trashy javascript WebForms is currently spitting out:


Ethan Hackett's avatar
Ethan Hackett

Well since this article has been posted it appears has transitioned over to Drupal (PHP).

mindy 's avatar

Interesting switch - I would love to see the web designers and developers post about their process on the site. I'm sure 99% of the world could care less, though.

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