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View Diary: Giving away the Obama code base is a bad idea (118 comments)

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  •  Code versus intelligent use of code (2+ / 0-)
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    wasatch, LilithGardener

    I've been writing commercial software since the early 1980s, so my first reaction is to protect the code base.

    But I also know some other things:

    1. Given a list of functional requirements, most applications can be duplicated from scratch.   I did that in my early days for my employers when licensing IBM accounting software was too expensive for them, so I created home-grown versions.  Unless there is really some ingenious code involved, having the code base simply helps you to get there faster.   As the OFA work was based on open source, I expect the methods are pretty widely known.

    2. The best software in the world is useless unless it is understood and used correctly.  No, worse than useless--it will hurt you.    Republicans and conservatives in general have been a big Fail with technology in the past 10 years.  Remember the RNC web site fiasco under Michael Steele?  And of course the Romney campaign's Orca fiasco?   Not that these were great code bases to begin with, but there seems to be something in the water they drink that leads to bad results.  (Actually, I think it's the centralized control mindset that they have. Agile they ain't.)

    3. Technology use in elections has been changing exponentially every four years.  There are mapping and database techniques that I created with voter registration that were very advanced in 2002 but became common in 2006, and became routine for most volunteers in 2008 and for nearly any volunteer in 2012.  

    If we are going to remain competitive, we have to constantly improve.  

    I weigh in with sharing the changes per license requirements, and letting the progressive base continue to improve with each election cycle.  

    •  The threshold in patenting a business method (0+ / 0-)

      is the list of the functions and the structure of how they depend on each other. It's assumed that any ordinary programmer skilled in the art can write effective code.

      1. Given a list of functional requirements, most applications can be duplicated from scratch.

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