White House officials say the open-source approach will make the site more secure, since the people building the software bake in security measures, correct errors and refine the programs along the way.
It's also cheaper than custom software programs designed specifically for one government office that isn't easily transferrable for another office's needs. Developers say open-source code also allows for greater innovation.
And new media and Gov2.0 afficianados think the open-source model is indicative of the administration's desire to incorporate more ideas from citizens and the private sector.
As Nancy Scola of TechPresident wrote, "it's possible to see the White House's move to open-source software as a move towards the idea that collaborative programming can inspire -- or at least, support -- a more distributed politics....This idea, that a politics crafted by the people could be a powerful thing indeed, emerged in a slightly mutated way during the Obama presidential campaign, but has arguably receded below the surface during the first nine months of the Obama Administration."