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Re: [govtrack] The incoming 113th Congress and deprecation plans

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  • Josh Tauberer
    Hey, Harvey. I haven t really considered it. I can see how it would be useful, but I think it would take too much time to collect and maintain. Best, - Josh
    Message 1 of 3 , Dec 11, 2012
      Hey, Harvey.

      I haven't really considered it. I can see how it would be useful, but I think it would take too much time to collect and maintain.

      - Josh Tauberer (@JoshData)
      On 12/06/2012 04:21 PM, Harvey Frey wrote:
      Hi Josh:

          Have you considered adding a list of Caucuses, Taskforces, Coalitions, etc. (eg, Blue Dogs) a congressman belongs to, to his/her description page?

          Wikipedia has a list of Caucuses and their officers, but not members.

          It would really be helpful for understanding their legislative philosophies.


      On 12/6/2012 11:39 AM, Josh Tauberer wrote:

      Hi, all. Here are my current plans for the 113th Congress.

      New Members

      I hope to get info up on the new Members of Congress right after the current Congress adjourns. If I recall, that's usually around the 20th. It'll go up in the main people.xml file as well as in people.xml in the soon-to-be-created 113 directory.

      Deprecating people.xml

      With the start of the 113th Congress, the people.xml files will be deprecated (meaning still available but not recommended). The recommended way to get that info will be through the new congress-legislators project on github (https://github.com/unitedstates/congress-legislators) which is a collaboration between Eric Mill (Sunlight), Derek Willis, and myself (and anyone else who would like to help out).

      You can read more about that in Alex Howard's article today on it:

      The existing people.xml files will probably be deleted at the end of 2013, giving you a year to switch to the new project.

      Possible New Bill XML

      I'm not sure, but starting with the 113th Congress I may replace my old Perl-based THOMAS scrapers for bill data with the new congress project ( https://github.com/unitedstates/congress; same collaborators). The new scrapers should produce bill status XML (i.e. 113/bills/*) in exactly the same format as the existing XML. But there may be bugs and some small changes. I'll write again when I know more about that.

      If that goes well, the existing bill XML will actually be deprecated in 2014 in favor of the new scraper's JSON output, and with any luck the current XML format will be permanently retired starting with the 114th Congress. (I'll continue to make available existing bill data indefinitely.)

      Anyway, more on that later.

      Undocumented Data

      The undocumented repstats and repstats.person will not be created for the 113th Congress. Instead I'll be creating a new stats directory with better information (e.g. missed votes %'s). The existing directories will probably be deleted by summer 2013.

      If you're using anything else undocumented, you might want to drop me a line to check on its status for next year as I'm doing a ton of internal cleanups.


      - Josh Tauberer (@JoshData)

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