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Govtrack contributions

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  • Jeremy Dunck
    Josh said: Thanks for the feedback. (And doubly thanks for posting it to the list so we can get some more activity here.) Ouch. Have I mentioned I love
    Message 1 of 4 , May 5, 2005
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      Josh said:
      "
      Thanks for the feedback. (And doubly thanks for posting it to
      the list so we can get some more activity here.)
      "

      Ouch. Have I mentioned I love govtrack and think it's quite useful
      and important?

      Did you have any more conversation with the folks in Washington who
      are working on ways to make such information more generally
      accessible?

      ...

      A big reason I haven't been more vocal on this list is that I've been
      wrapped up with a Firefox extension called Greasemonkey
      http://greasemonkey.mozdev.org

      Basically, it allows users to run javascript of their own (or someone
      else's) creation on whatever web pages they wish. These are called
      "user scripts", in the same vein as user style sheets.

      I could see it being useful in the context of government pages...

      Perhaps a key feature in this context is GM_xmlhttpRequest, a function
      which the extension exports to the user script, and which allows
      cross-domain asynchronous HTTP requests.

      There are many examples of scripts here:
      http://dunck.us/collab/GreaseMonkeyUserScripts

      And Jon Udell had a fairly compelling screencast (video) with an
      example application of GM_xmlhttpRequest:
      http://weblog.infoworld.com/udell/gems/intermediation.html

      The bit with GM is about halfway through.

      Not intended as an advertisement, but that's about the most I can
      offer this project for now...
    • Joshua Tauberer / GovTrack
      ... Thanks, Jeremy! Much appreciated. ... No, I haven t. I think what s going to happen next in the grand scheme of things is that representatives (at least
      Message 2 of 4 , May 6, 2005
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        Jeremy Dunck wrote:
        > Ouch. Have I mentioned I love govtrack and think it's quite useful
        > and important?

        Thanks, Jeremy! Much appreciated.

        > Did you have any more conversation with the folks in Washington who
        > are working on ways to make such information more generally
        > accessible?

        No, I haven't.

        I think what's going to happen next in the grand scheme of things is
        that representatives (at least those whose websites are run by
        dotgov.info) will start placing some bill identifiers (RDF URIs) into
        their RSS feeds. And, I'll then update GovTrack to make use of the same
        identifiers.

        Then we'll be able to create some new information-aggregating tools,
        which will show people why all of this work is important.

        I'm glad you mentioned your Firefox extension. (I'll take this moment
        to plug my own Thunderbird extension at http://taubz.for.net/code/spf.
        :) heh heh)

        The screencast was really interesting. Showing library-status links in
        Amazon is the type of thing that would be so much simpler to accomplish
        if only we were a bit further along with the semantic web. Embedding
        things like RDF URIs for bills in RSS feeds and, hopefully, on web
        pages, will make browsing the web so much richer -- in the same way that
        using JavaScript to inject information makes pages more informative.

        - Josh
      • TML
        ...and then we ll really start moving things VOTERS consider important out of the shadows of Washington. I d love to see our captive (by industry, party, or
        Message 3 of 4 , May 6, 2005
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          ...and then we'll really start moving things VOTERS consider important
          out of the shadows of Washington. I'd love to see our 'captive' (by
          industry, party, or ideology...take your pick) representatives
          compelled to utilize technologies that undermine the value of their
          captivity by the various interest groups. Technology may yet reveal
          the true nature of our country's power structures, for all to see. I
          just hope citizens will actually want to do something with that
          revelation. That is not guaranteed.

          And yeah, that screencast WAS interesting!
          thanks,
          Tom

          On May 6, 2005, at 09:05, Joshua Tauberer / GovTrack wrote:

          > The screencast was really interesting.  Showing library-status links
          > in
          > Amazon is the type of thing that would be so much simpler to
          > accomplish
          > if only we were a bit further along with the semantic web.  Embedding
          > things like RDF URIs for bills in RSS feeds and, hopefully, on web
          > pages, will make browsing the web so much richer -- in the same way
          > that
          > using JavaScript to inject information makes pages more informative.
          >
          > - Josh
        • Jeremy Dunck
          ... Jon Udell is quite regularly interesting. He s a tech journalist, but (I say but because it s somewhat unusual) he consistently thinks, pushes the
          Message 4 of 4 , May 6, 2005
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            On 5/6/05, TML <tlinder@...> wrote:
            > And yeah, that screencast WAS interesting!
            > thanks,
            > Tom

            Jon Udell is quite regularly interesting. He's a tech journalist, but
            (I say but because it's somewhat unusual) he consistently thinks,
            pushes the envelope, and shares.
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