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It’s Been One Year Since We Published the Source Code for We The People

Developing APIs and soliciting valuable input from the developer community will help improve the experience of using The White House’s petitions platform and broaden the dialog that We The People represents.

Publishing We The People's Source code

What a year it’s been!  Since that first exciting day, we’ve opened up seven more code repositories on GitHub (usually called “repos”), as well as several projects on too. In addition to the software for We The People, we’ve open sourced the White House’s official mobile apps, several Drupal modules, and even our API standards documentation. 

Of course one of the great things about open-source software is that anyone who wants to build something similar, or improve an existing application, can make a copy for themselves (known as “forking”) and even send us their improvements (called a “pull request”). And we really hope you’ll take advantage of that.

Get started at our developers page, where you can get information on how you can take part in all of our open source and open data initiatives.

And you won’t be alone. Over the past year, our repos have been forked more than 500 times, and we’ve taken nearly a dozen pull requests as we continuously work on improving the quality and re-usability of these applications as publicly and transparently as we can. In fact we’ve even hosted a couple of hackathons right here at The White House (hint: Follow @WHWeb on twitter to find out about future events like these).

But releasing the software was just the beginning. Back in May we announced the release of a read API for We The People, allowing you access to data on all of the publicly available petitions to build things like maps that show a petition’s geographic support, or widgets for promoting a petition on your blog, and a whole range of interesting data analysis.  If that weren’t enough, we’re now hard at work on the write version of the API.  Once that’s done it will allow you to submit signatures directly to We The People petitions from your own platforms.

We’re developing these APIs and soliciting valuable input from the developer community because we want to continue improving the experience of using The White House’s petitions platform and broadening the dialog that We The People represents. So we encourage you to take part by forking our code and sending us pull requests, by building apps and widgets with the API, and of course, by creating and signing petitions.  We’re excited to see what the next year brings!

To learn more about open data and open source projects at the White House, visit Also, please feel free to contact us via the developers feedback form or to follow our tech team on Twitter @WHWeb.