U.S. Elections and SilverStripe show open source is ready for major websites

Date Submitted: August 20 2008 09:44 pm
Open Source programming languages, frameworks, and CMS offerings are big players in the blog and small-website market. Being free to download, use, customize, and learn, they are the preference for personal, small business, and minor government websites. But with the SilverStripe open source CMS powering a key website in this year's U.S. Presidential Election, open source offerings are demonstrating they can displace the unwarranted stronghold that costly proprietary solutions have on highly visible and more complex websites.

SilverStripe, which launched its first stable release in early 2007, has seen more than 100,000 copies downloaded from silverstripe.com or bundled on magazine cover disks. One download was by the team evaluating a CMS to power the Democratic National Convention website. The Convention runs for several days this August, and shall conclude with more than 75,000 people attending Barack Obama's party nomination acceptance speech.

An easy to use content editing system and its general focus on usability were key to SilverStripe being selected. The website is expected to be heavily visited by the millions of people interested in watching the speeches and reading the announcements that will be added to the site during the convention. Accordingly, scalability, reliability, security, and integrating with external sources of video and photo s were also tested in forming the decision to use SilverStripe.

The website runs in b oth English and Spanish, as multi-language support was one of several features contributed by open source programmers in last year's Google Summer of Code.

SilverStripe is written in highly o bject-oriented PHP5 code, and features its own programming framework. As explained in the SilverStripe overview, the framework is how developers build a SilverStripe-powered website, customise the out-of-the box content management interface, and utilise themes, widgets, and extension modules.