Open Source and the Public Sector: All for Good

Wednesday, July 22, 2009 | 12:02 PM


We're in San Jose, CA this week for OSCON, O'Reilly's Open Source Convention. Over the next few days, we're going to be bringing you posts highlighting how the open source community is working to improve the public sector. There are some really incredible things taking shape, and we're excited to share them with you this week. To start, though, we want to highlight an open source project the Google Public Sector Team is working on, All for Good, which makes it easy to find and share volunteer opportunities from across the web.

We've written about All for Good on this blog in the past, but today we're focusing on one aspect that makes it such an interesting project - All for Good is entirely open source. While All for Good started as a collaboration between Google and partners including the Craigslist Foundation and the Corporation for National Service, it's not owned exclusively by any one of them. Our source code is publicly available using Google Code, and we've provided documentation on how to get up and running using the code to contribute to the project. That means that anyone, anywhere can browse the issues list, find and fix problems, and improve the site for everyone.

Making All for Good open source has helped it grow far faster than if it were controlled by one organization. As you're reading this, independent developers across the country and world are working alongside Googlers and other members of the team to implement new features including allowing users to post new volunteer opportunities directly to the site, formatting All for Good for mobile browsers, and driving adoption of the FPXML feed format. If you want to get involved, head over to the code site and get started!

We're excited to be a part of the growing open source movement in the public sector, and are looking forward to highlighting what others are doing this week. For a preview, check out the Open Government track at the OSCON site, and stop by the Google booth if you're at the convention.