Alexander B. Howard at E Pluribus Unum has an interesting post on how the new Healthcare.gov site is being built using open source software, including the static site generator Jekyll:

Jekyll, for those who are unfamiliar with Web development trends, is a way for developers to build a static website from dynamic components. Instead of running a traditional website with a relational database and server-side code, using Jekyll enables programmers to create content like they create code. The end result of this approach is a site that loads faster for users, a crucial performance issue, particularly on mobile devices.

The whole post is about more than just deploying static site generators for governmental Web sites and is worth a read. But there is an interesting example how static site generators can result in significantly reduced server-side computing requirements and hence produce large cost savings.

The larger promise is that open-source software developed on social sites such as GitHub and simple and robust technology stacks will result in better quality, lower costs and reusable software that can be shared and deployed across all government levels.