The New Federal Source Code Policy

The White House released a draft policy yesterday for sharing source code among federal agencies, including a pilot program that will make portions of federal code open source.

This policy will require new software developed specifically for or by the Federal Government to be made available for sharing and re-use across Federal agencies. It also includes a pilot program that will result in a portion of that new federally-funded custom code being released to the public.

The policy outlined here highlights a draft policy proposal of a pilot program requiring covered agencies to release at least 20 percent of their newly-developed custom code, in addition to the release of all custom code developed by Federal employees at covered agencies as part of their official duties, subject to certain exceptions as noted in the main body of the policy.

Many Federal GIS consultants just had a bad morning.

Editor Choices

I’ve been a BBEdit user since probably 1994 (that’s the oldest floppy disk I can find) and I’ve loved it. Back when I worked at WeoGeo though, I flirted with TextMate as did many others who worked with Ruby. But that project imploded with the 2.0 beta so I moved back to BBEdit with MacVim running when I needed command line editing. I’ve dabbled in Sublime Text but I just never cared for it so I stuck with BBEdit.

With my new job though I’m knee deep in Node.js and Express.js and BBEdit just isn’t working for me so I’m looking at a new editor. My choices as I see them right now are:

I’ve used Atom on and off since GitHub had their beta but I stuck with BBEdit for what I’m guess are “historic reasons”. Atom, being born out of GitHub is modern and has what appears to be a robust community behind it with packages and themes.

Brackets is intriguing but I just can’t get my head behind using an Adobe product (even if it is open source). I feel like Adobe PageMill might just suddenly appear on my desktop. The biggest +/- of Brackets is that it is designed for web design. It doesn’t concern itself with Objective C or Swift coding. It’s focused on web technology which simplifies it a bit but limits my use of it. I like the idea of just using one editor and staying with it.

Now Microsoft Studio Code is very good. I’ve really liked using it and it too has a robust community developing extensions. Plus it is built on Electron which is the underpinnings of Atom.

I’m torn between using Microsoft Studio Code and Atom. I’ve been locked on Atom the past week and while I do like what Microsoft has done with Code, I think I’m going to be staying on Atom moving forward. The best part of JavaScript development though is you really don’t need to standardize on any editor. Just let Git control the project and edit in TextEdit.