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Re: [govtrack] Getting bills in HTML from Thomas

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  • Harvey Frey
    Hi Neil: Thanks for the response! I simply want to use the contents section of a bill to hyperlink to the actual text paragraphs within the same bill, to
    Message 1 of 14 , May 25, 2010
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      Hi Neil:

          Thanks for the response!

          I simply want to use the 'contents' section of a bill to hyperlink to the actual text paragraphs within the same bill, to make the bills easier to navigate and comprehend.

          If I save the contents page from Thomas, the links point to a cgi script and disappear within a few minutes. AFAIK, Thomas uses no permanent links - everything runs through their cgi script.

          If I download the entire bill from Thomas, it contains no links at all, so I need to be able to find section headings and put name anchors there, and put corresponding href anchors in the correct TOC line, but not do it for incidental references which are not headings.

          So it's not a problem of finding stereotypical text references to USC sections and constructing HTML from them. That would be a pretty straightforward RegExp problem.

      Harvey
      ================================================

      Neil M. wrote:
      I've got an old python script that takes the US Code text files (from
      http://uscode.house.gov), scans for references and outputs mediawiki
      formatted pages and wiki links.  It shouldn't be too difficult to modify
      it to parse some other text/HTML file and output HTML instead.  What is
      it you want to link to exactly?  The aforementioned US Code website?
      Thomas?  Both?
      
      Neil
      
      On 5/24/2010 3:59 PM, Harvey Frey wrote:
        
       
      
          Has anyone tried downloading bills from Thomas in HTML format, or
      converting their Text downloads to HTML?
      
          The guy at the Thomas help desk at first didn't understand what I
      wanted, and then said that no one had ever asked for that before.
      
          As you know, when you download the Contents page of a bill, the
      hyperlinks to the actual sections point to your own local folder instead
      of to the Thomas page where they exist.
      
          If you add a base statement to point them back to the Thomas site,
      the links disappear in a few minutes since the search expires.
      
          If you download all their referenced pages, you can't use their
      links to convert them to local hyperlinks, since they address them
      through a cgi program instead of through static name anchors.
      
          Your can download a bill as plain text rather than HTML, but
      manually adding all the name anchors and hyperlinks would be a massive job.
      
          (I did it for the Patriot Act, and it wasn't fun, especially since
      it looked like they intentionally obfuscated the references, sometimes
      using Public Law References, sometimes USC, and sometimes common names,
      so it was a detective job to find the sections they were amending.)
      
          Has anyone tried this, say with perl?
      
          I'm specifically interested in HR 3590, the recent Health Reform
      Bill. Some bills are posted as a massive XML file, but this one isn't.
      (If it were, I suppose you could use their id/id-ref pairs to construct
      href/name pairs, and then clean out the rest of the XML cruft.)
      
      Harvey
      
      =============================
      Harvey S. Frey MD PhD Esq.
      hsfrey@...  www.harp.org
      -----------------------------
      "Withdrawing in disgust is not the same thing as apathy."
      - Brian Eno
      =============================
      
      
          
      
      ------------------------------------
      
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    • Neil M.
      I had some free time, something like this? http://www.nabber.org/media/HR3590.html Neil
      Message 2 of 14 , May 25, 2010
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        I had some free time, something like this?

        http://www.nabber.org/media/HR3590.html

        Neil

        On 5/25/2010 7:23 PM, Harvey Frey wrote:
        >
        >
        > Hi Neil:
        >
        > Thanks for the response!
        >
        > I simply want to use the 'contents' section of a bill to hyperlink
        > to the actual text paragraphs within the same bill, to make the bills
        > easier to navigate and comprehend.
        >
        > If I save the contents page from Thomas, the links point to a cgi
        > script and disappear within a few minutes. AFAIK, Thomas uses no
        > permanent links - everything runs through their cgi script.
        >
        > If I download the entire bill from Thomas, it contains no links at
        > all, so I need to be able to find section headings and put name anchors
        > there, and put corresponding href anchors in the correct TOC line, but
        > not do it for incidental references which are not headings.
        >
        > So it's not a problem of finding stereotypical text references to
        > USC sections and constructing HTML from them. That would be a pretty
        > straightforward RegExp problem.
        >
        > Harvey
        > ================================================
        >
        > Neil M. wrote:
        >
        >> I've got an old python script that takes the US Code text files (from
        >> http://uscode.house.gov), scans for references and outputs mediawiki
        >> formatted pages and wiki links. It shouldn't be too difficult to modify
        >> it to parse some other text/HTML file and output HTML instead. What is
        >> it you want to link to exactly? The aforementioned US Code website?
        >> Thomas? Both?
        >>
        >> Neil
        >>
        >> On 5/24/2010 3:59 PM, Harvey Frey wrote:
        >>
        >>>
        >>>
        >>> Has anyone tried downloading bills from Thomas in HTML format, or
        >>> converting their Text downloads to HTML?
        >>>
        >>> The guy at the Thomas help desk at first didn't understand what I
        >>> wanted, and then said that no one had ever asked for that before.
        >>>
        >>> As you know, when you download the Contents page of a bill, the
        >>> hyperlinks to the actual sections point to your own local folder instead
        >>> of to the Thomas page where they exist.
        >>>
        >>> If you add a base statement to point them back to the Thomas site,
        >>> the links disappear in a few minutes since the search expires.
        >>>
        >>> If you download all their referenced pages, you can't use their
        >>> links to convert them to local hyperlinks, since they address them
        >>> through a cgi program instead of through static name anchors.
        >>>
        >>> Your can download a bill as plain text rather than HTML, but
        >>> manually adding all the name anchors and hyperlinks would be a massive job.
        >>>
        >>> (I did it for the Patriot Act, and it wasn't fun, especially since
        >>> it looked like they intentionally obfuscated the references, sometimes
        >>> using Public Law References, sometimes USC, and sometimes common names,
        >>> so it was a detective job to find the sections they were amending.)
        >>>
        >>> Has anyone tried this, say with perl?
        >>>
        >>> I'm specifically interested in HR 3590, the recent Health Reform
        >>> Bill. Some bills are posted as a massive XML file, but this one isn't.
        >>> (If it were, I suppose you could use their id/id-ref pairs to construct
        >>> href/name pairs, and then clean out the rest of the XML cruft.)
        >>>
        >>> Harvey
        >>>
        >>> =============================
        >>> Harvey S. Frey MD PhD Esq.
        >>> hsfrey@... www.harp.org
        >>> -----------------------------
        >>> "Withdrawing in disgust is not the same thing as apathy."
        >>> - Brian Eno
        >>> =============================
        >>>
        >>>
        >>>
        >>
        >>
        >> ------------------------------------
        >>
        >> Yahoo! Groups Links
        >>
        >>
        >>
        >>
        >>
        >
      • Harvey Frey
        Neil: Precisely! :-D Thank You! Did you write a script to do that? Manually it would surely have taken more than a little free time !! Harvey
        Message 3 of 14 , May 26, 2010
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          Neil:

              Precisely! :-D
              Thank You!

              Did you write a script to do that?
              Manually it would surely have taken more than a little "free time" !!

          Harvey

          Neil M. wrote:
          I had some free time, something like this?
          
          http://www.nabber.org/media/HR3590.html
          
          Neil
          
          On 5/25/2010 7:23 PM, Harvey Frey wrote:
            
           
          
          Hi Neil:
          
              Thanks for the response!
          
              I simply want to use the 'contents' section of a bill to hyperlink
          to the actual text paragraphs within the same bill, to make the bills
          easier to navigate and comprehend.
          
              If I save the contents page from Thomas, the links point to a cgi
          script and disappear within a few minutes. AFAIK, Thomas uses no
          permanent links - everything runs through their cgi script.
          
              If I download the entire bill from Thomas, it contains no links at
          all, so I need to be able to find section headings and put name anchors
          there, and put corresponding href anchors in the correct TOC line, but
          not do it for incidental references which are not headings.
          
              So it's not a problem of finding stereotypical text references to
          USC sections and constructing HTML from them. That would be a pretty
          straightforward RegExp problem.
          
          Harvey
          ================================================
          
          Neil M. wrote:
          
              
          I've got an old python script that takes the US Code text files (from
          http://uscode.house.gov), scans for references and outputs mediawiki
          formatted pages and wiki links.  It shouldn't be too difficult to modify
          it to parse some other text/HTML file and output HTML instead.  What is
          it you want to link to exactly?  The aforementioned US Code website?
          Thomas?  Both?
          
          Neil
          
          On 5/24/2010 3:59 PM, Harvey Frey wrote:
            
                
           
          
              Has anyone tried downloading bills from Thomas in HTML format, or
          converting their Text downloads to HTML?
          
              The guy at the Thomas help desk at first didn't understand what I
          wanted, and then said that no one had ever asked for that before.
          
              As you know, when you download the Contents page of a bill, the
          hyperlinks to the actual sections point to your own local folder instead
          of to the Thomas page where they exist.
          
              If you add a base statement to point them back to the Thomas site,
          the links disappear in a few minutes since the search expires.
          
              If you download all their referenced pages, you can't use their
          links to convert them to local hyperlinks, since they address them
          through a cgi program instead of through static name anchors.
          
              Your can download a bill as plain text rather than HTML, but
          manually adding all the name anchors and hyperlinks would be a massive job.
          
              (I did it for the Patriot Act, and it wasn't fun, especially since
          it looked like they intentionally obfuscated the references, sometimes
          using Public Law References, sometimes USC, and sometimes common names,
          so it was a detective job to find the sections they were amending.)
          
              Has anyone tried this, say with perl?
          
              I'm specifically interested in HR 3590, the recent Health Reform
          Bill. Some bills are posted as a massive XML file, but this one isn't.
          (If it were, I suppose you could use their id/id-ref pairs to construct
          href/name pairs, and then clean out the rest of the XML cruft.)
          
          Harvey
          
          =============================
          Harvey S. Frey MD PhD Esq.
          hsfrey@...  www.harp.org
          -----------------------------
          "Withdrawing in disgust is not the same thing as apathy."
          - Brian Eno
          =============================
          
          
              
                  
          ------------------------------------
          
          Yahoo! Groups Links
          
          
          
          
            
                
          
          ------------------------------------
          
          Yahoo! Groups Links
          
          <*> To visit your group on the web, go to:
              http://groups.yahoo.com/group/govtrack/
          
          <*> Your email settings:
              Individual Email | Traditional
          
          <*> To change settings online go to:
              http://groups.yahoo.com/group/govtrack/join
              (Yahoo! ID required)
          
          <*> To change settings via email:
              govtrack-digest@yahoogroups.com 
              govtrack-fullfeatured@yahoogroups.com
          
          <*> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
              govtrack-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
          
          <*> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to:
              http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
          
          
            
        • Neil M.
          Yes I wrote a quick Python script if anyone wants it just let me know. Neil
          Message 4 of 14 , May 26, 2010
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            Yes I wrote a quick Python script if anyone wants it just let me know.

            Neil

            On 5/26/2010 11:05 AM, Harvey Frey wrote:
            >
            >
            > Neil:
            >
            > Precisely! :-D
            > Thank You!
            >
            > Did you write a script to do that?
            > Manually it would surely have taken more than a little "free time" !!
            >
            > Harvey
            >
            > Neil M. wrote:
            >
            >> I had some free time, something like this?
            >>
            >> http://www.nabber.org/media/HR3590.html
            >>
            >> Neil
            >>
            >> On 5/25/2010 7:23 PM, Harvey Frey wrote:
            >>
            >>>
            >>>
            >>> Hi Neil:
            >>>
            >>> Thanks for the response!
            >>>
            >>> I simply want to use the 'contents' section of a bill to hyperlink
            >>> to the actual text paragraphs within the same bill, to make the bills
            >>> easier to navigate and comprehend.
            >>>
            >>> If I save the contents page from Thomas, the links point to a cgi
            >>> script and disappear within a few minutes. AFAIK, Thomas uses no
            >>> permanent links - everything runs through their cgi script.
            >>>
            >>> If I download the entire bill from Thomas, it contains no links at
            >>> all, so I need to be able to find section headings and put name anchors
            >>> there, and put corresponding href anchors in the correct TOC line, but
            >>> not do it for incidental references which are not headings.
            >>>
            >>> So it's not a problem of finding stereotypical text references to
            >>> USC sections and constructing HTML from them. That would be a pretty
            >>> straightforward RegExp problem.
            >>>
            >>> Harvey
            >>> ================================================
            >>>
            >>> Neil M. wrote:
            >>>
            >>>
            >>>> I've got an old python script that takes the US Code text files (from
            >>>> http://uscode.house.gov), scans for references and outputs mediawiki
            >>>> formatted pages and wiki links. It shouldn't be too difficult to modify
            >>>> it to parse some other text/HTML file and output HTML instead. What is
            >>>> it you want to link to exactly? The aforementioned US Code website?
            >>>> Thomas? Both?
            >>>>
            >>>> Neil
            >>>>
            >>>> On 5/24/2010 3:59 PM, Harvey Frey wrote:
            >>>>
            >>>>
            >>>>>
            >>>>>
            >>>>> Has anyone tried downloading bills from Thomas in HTML format, or
            >>>>> converting their Text downloads to HTML?
            >>>>>
            >>>>> The guy at the Thomas help desk at first didn't understand what I
            >>>>> wanted, and then said that no one had ever asked for that before.
            >>>>>
            >>>>> As you know, when you download the Contents page of a bill, the
            >>>>> hyperlinks to the actual sections point to your own local folder instead
            >>>>> of to the Thomas page where they exist.
            >>>>>
            >>>>> If you add a base statement to point them back to the Thomas site,
            >>>>> the links disappear in a few minutes since the search expires.
            >>>>>
            >>>>> If you download all their referenced pages, you can't use their
            >>>>> links to convert them to local hyperlinks, since they address them
            >>>>> through a cgi program instead of through static name anchors.
            >>>>>
            >>>>> Your can download a bill as plain text rather than HTML, but
            >>>>> manually adding all the name anchors and hyperlinks would be a massive job.
            >>>>>
            >>>>> (I did it for the Patriot Act, and it wasn't fun, especially since
            >>>>> it looked like they intentionally obfuscated the references, sometimes
            >>>>> using Public Law References, sometimes USC, and sometimes common names,
            >>>>> so it was a detective job to find the sections they were amending.)
            >>>>>
            >>>>> Has anyone tried this, say with perl?
            >>>>>
            >>>>> I'm specifically interested in HR 3590, the recent Health Reform
            >>>>> Bill. Some bills are posted as a massive XML file, but this one isn't.
            >>>>> (If it were, I suppose you could use their id/id-ref pairs to construct
            >>>>> href/name pairs, and then clean out the rest of the XML cruft.)
            >>>>>
            >>>>> Harvey
            >>>>>
            >>>>> =============================
            >>>>> Harvey S. Frey MD PhD Esq.
            >>>>> hsfrey@... www.harp.org
            >>>>> -----------------------------
            >>>>> "Withdrawing in disgust is not the same thing as apathy."
            >>>>> - Brian Eno
            >>>>> =============================
            >>>>>
            >>>>>
            >>>>>
            >>>>>
            >>>> ------------------------------------
            >>>>
            >>>> Yahoo! Groups Links
            >>>>
            >>>>
            >>>>
            >>>>
            >>>>
            >>>>
            >>
            >>
            >> ------------------------------------
            >>
            >> Yahoo! Groups Links
            >>
            >>
            >>
            >>
            >>
            >
          • Harvey Frey
            ... Yes, please! It does need a little manual post-editing, since the section numbers in amended texts can be (and are) duplicates. Harvey
            Message 5 of 14 , May 26, 2010
            • 0 Attachment
              Neil:

              >
              if anyone wants it just let me know<

                   Yes, please!

                  It does need a little manual post-editing, since the section numbers in amended texts can be (and are) duplicates.

              Harvey

              Neil M. wrote:
              Yes I wrote a quick Python script if anyone wants it just let me know.
              
              Neil
              
              On 5/26/2010 11:05 AM, Harvey Frey wrote:
                
               
              
              Neil:
              
                  Precisely! :-D
                  Thank You!
              
                  Did you write a script to do that?
                  Manually it would surely have taken more than a little "free time" !!
              
              Harvey
              
              Neil M. wrote:
              
                  
              I had some free time, something like this?
              
              http://www.nabber.org/media/HR3590.html
              
              Neil
              
              On 5/25/2010 7:23 PM, Harvey Frey wrote:
                
                    
               
              
              Hi Neil:
              
                  Thanks for the response!
              
                  I simply want to use the 'contents' section of a bill to hyperlink
              to the actual text paragraphs within the same bill, to make the bills
              easier to navigate and comprehend.
              
                  If I save the contents page from Thomas, the links point to a cgi
              script and disappear within a few minutes. AFAIK, Thomas uses no
              permanent links - everything runs through their cgi script.
              
                  If I download the entire bill from Thomas, it contains no links at
              all, so I need to be able to find section headings and put name anchors
              there, and put corresponding href anchors in the correct TOC line, but
              not do it for incidental references which are not headings.
              
                  So it's not a problem of finding stereotypical text references to
              USC sections and constructing HTML from them. That would be a pretty
              straightforward RegExp problem.
              
              Harvey
              ================================================
              
              Neil M. wrote:
              
                  
                      
              I've got an old python script that takes the US Code text files (from
              http://uscode.house.gov), scans for references and outputs mediawiki
              formatted pages and wiki links.  It shouldn't be too difficult to modify
              it to parse some other text/HTML file and output HTML instead.  What is
              it you want to link to exactly?  The aforementioned US Code website?
              Thomas?  Both?
              
              Neil
              
              On 5/24/2010 3:59 PM, Harvey Frey wrote:
                
                    
                        
               
              
                  Has anyone tried downloading bills from Thomas in HTML format, or
              converting their Text downloads to HTML?
              
                  The guy at the Thomas help desk at first didn't understand what I
              wanted, and then said that no one had ever asked for that before.
              
                  As you know, when you download the Contents page of a bill, the
              hyperlinks to the actual sections point to your own local folder instead
              of to the Thomas page where they exist.
              
                  If you add a base statement to point them back to the Thomas site,
              the links disappear in a few minutes since the search expires.
              
                  If you download all their referenced pages, you can't use their
              links to convert them to local hyperlinks, since they address them
              through a cgi program instead of through static name anchors.
              
                  Your can download a bill as plain text rather than HTML, but
              manually adding all the name anchors and hyperlinks would be a massive job.
              
                  (I did it for the Patriot Act, and it wasn't fun, especially since
              it looked like they intentionally obfuscated the references, sometimes
              using Public Law References, sometimes USC, and sometimes common names,
              so it was a detective job to find the sections they were amending.)
              
                  Has anyone tried this, say with perl?
              
                  I'm specifically interested in HR 3590, the recent Health Reform
              Bill. Some bills are posted as a massive XML file, but this one isn't.
              (If it were, I suppose you could use their id/id-ref pairs to construct
              href/name pairs, and then clean out the rest of the XML cruft.)
              
              Harvey
              
              =============================
              Harvey S. Frey MD PhD Esq.
              hsfrey@...  www.harp.org
              -----------------------------
              "Withdrawing in disgust is not the same thing as apathy."
              - Brian Eno
              =============================
              
              
                  
                      
                          
              ------------------------------------
              
              Yahoo! Groups Links
              
              
              
              
                
                    
                        
              ------------------------------------
              
              Yahoo! Groups Links
              
              
              
              
                
                    
              
              ------------------------------------
              
              Yahoo! Groups Links
              
              <*> To visit your group on the web, go to:
                  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/govtrack/
              
              <*> Your email settings:
                  Individual Email | Traditional
              
              <*> To change settings online go to:
                  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/govtrack/join
                  (Yahoo! ID required)
              
              <*> To change settings via email:
                  govtrack-digest@yahoogroups.com 
                  govtrack-fullfeatured@yahoogroups.com
              
              <*> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                  govtrack-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
              
              <*> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to:
                  http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
              
              
                
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