Number 10: The same thing twice?

I’m not quite sure I fully grasp what is going on with this (some would say I never do) but maybe it might be of interest to other readers and hopefully someone will come along and explain a bit more.

I was looking about on-line the other day just following my (rather large) nose around the ‘Anthony Baggett’s theme being used by Number 10 Downing Street’ story. And I came across something I don’t really understand. Perhaps others might be able to shed some light on what might be going on here?

Let’s start with the background: Number 10’s Website, is using a look and feel derived from an original theme by Anthony called NetWorker. The way we know this is by the header that was left in the main stylesheet and almost every other file from Anthony’s original package being left in tact on the server.

During my wanderings around the internet I came upon this page: which shows a list of files that have been updated or changed in some way on a developer’s version control system called CVS. The owner of this system is a group called

CVS Checkin 12360

According to their website, MySociety are a non-profit charity and who look to have built some pretty interesting sites; many around freedom of information and enabling better access to Government. They were responsible for creating the Petitions System for Number 10 which looks to have been written as a custom application using at least Perl and PHP.

Here is a screenshot of the page showing the date of the commit (04/08/2008) and the name of the committer (matthew) and a quite long list of files that have been added, removed or altered as part of this commit.

For those who are not familiar, this kind of tool is used by developers to manage software projects. You can literally see each change made to your project, by time and by developer so when something gets fixed (or gets subsequently broken again) you can go back in time and recover your project to the same state prior to a particular commit.

I would like to draw your attention toward the bottom of the page in the screenshot. There you can see a few stylesheet files being removed and two new ones being added. One line in particular caught my attention:

mysociety/pet/web/no10_css/style.css added-> 1.1

If you click on the revision number (1.1 in this case) to view the contents of the file1 you will see that the it has the same header as that of the main Number 10 Downing Street file.

I used the Meld comparison tool as I did before to compare it with Anthony’s original2, and this is another derivative work of Anthony’s original style.css file. And I compared this one with the stylesheet used for the main Number 10 website3 they are very, very similar indeed.

If you visit the Prime Minister’s petition site note the similar look and feel to the main 10 Downing Street pages. Now take a look at the stylesheet for this site:

This looks to me like two separate websites, developed by two different companies, but both using the same derived work. Anyone care to elucidate?

1. My Society’s stylesheet
2. Anthony’s original stylesheet
3. No. 10’s heavily modified stylesheet

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