Postcards from the Bleeding Edge
Sunday, December 09, 2007

  Presidental politics and the LAMP stack

I was curious as to what software was powering the presidential campaigns this year, so I did a brief tour of the top websites with LWP's http HEAD command.

It's kind of neat that Romney's otherwise wealthy campaign is using Linux, and no wonder that Fred's technologically clueless one is using IIs, and perhaps I could draw an inference that Hillary's campaign is so uncool because it's not run on a Mac? (Why don't any of the campaigns use a Mac as a web server?) Obama's running on a Personal Web Server, whatever that is.

Democrats


www.hillaryclinton.com Server: Microsoft-IIS/6.0
www.barackobama.com Server: PWS/1.1.29
www.richardsonforpresident.com/ Server: Zope/(Zope 2.7.8-final, python 2.3.6, linux2) ZServer/1.1
www.dennis4president.comServer: Apache/2.0.52 (Red Hat)
johnedwards.com Server: Apache
joebiden.com Server: Zope/(Zope 2.7.8-final, python 2.3.5, linux2) ZServer/1.1

Republicans


www.mikehuckabee.com Server: Microsoft-IIS/6.0
www.mittromney.com Server: Apache/2.0.52 (Red Hat)
www.joinrudy08.com Server: Apache/2.2.4 (Unix) PHP/5.2.0
www.ronpaul2008.com Server: Apache/2.0.52 (Red Hat)
www.johnmccain.com Server: Microsoft-IIS/6.0
www.fred08.com Server: Microsoft-IIS/6.0

The final tally: Of the top 6 Republican campaigns, half use a redhat derived Linux, half use IIS. Of the top 6 Democratic campaigns, 1 uses IIS, another uses PWS (Microsoft I think), the other 4 use Linux, or at least, Apache.

I could draw two conclusions from this. Either: Open source is a clear win in the presidential arena for all candidates - or: there is a marked preference for Microsoft in the top-ranked-by-the MSM contenders.

Now, of all the campaigns running, Ron Paul's is the most interactive and untinged by broadcast mediathink. Rudy Guilani's web page has, first on the page, "watch our new ad", and "get your Rudy bumper sticker, only 9.95", while Paul's has a flash message that circulates between donate, supporter messages, discover and imagine, who is Ron Paul, and pointers to videos, and even a supporter spotlight.

Ron Paul's campaign and supporters are almost entirely powered by at least three parts of LAMP - Linux, Apache, and PHP. I can't easily determine from here what the database back ends are, but I would assume it's either postgres or mysql on that side, too.

www.ronpaul2008.com Server: Apache/2.0.52 (Red Hat)
www.teaparty07.com: Server: Microsoft-IIS/6.0
www.ronpaulblimp.com Server: Apache/2.0.52 (CentOS)
www.ronpaulgraphs.com Server: Apache/2.0.52 (CentOS)
www.ronpaulforums.com Server: Apache/2.2.3 (Red Hat)

Now, if I wanted to be truly fair and journalistic and geeky this morning, I'd survey a few other candidate's supporters' websites, and talk about how google news, myspace and youtube and technorati actually work to bring you the news you are looking for, but I have a few other things to write, and some Blimp handlers to find so I'll leave this at this for now.

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