Tuesday, June 4, 2013

First Commit: Legislative Data, the Book

I'm writing a book with +Grant. This may be a surprise to him. We've discussed the book, we're planning on it, we've even begun to flesh out many of the ideas in our blogs. But we hadn't said anything publicly about it until now. Grant's in Hong Kong this week for work, so I figured it's a perfect time for me to commit us publicly to this project and deal with the consequences when he's back.

By the time he's in California again, I'm hoping that expectations have grown such that we just have to bite the bullet and write. I am anticipating a reading audience of dozens, but hope for an impact on millions. And that is where I'm counting on you.  In typical esoteric policy tech fashion, I've created a +GitHub repository with our first commit.  And a wiki with my very first draft of a table of contents: https://github.com/aih/LegislativeDataBook/wiki/Table-of-Contents

We'll cover legislative data standards (e.g. Akoma Ntoso, SLIM), data format wars (html, xml, json, rdf), policy (e.g. DATA Act) and drafting decisions, positive law codification, open government and transparency, tools of the trade and more. Take a look and see what I've missed or what I've messed up.

Because it's on Github, you can make a branch, make suggestions or even a pull request. Suggest a new chapter, suggest a better title or subtitle for an existing chapter. Write a first draft or prepare to comment on our drafts (which may or may not be committed first on Github before publishing-- a lot may change after Grant reads this post). Or leave your comments here. And if you make extensive comments or edits, maybe that means that you should go ahead and write your own d#&!n book. Or join us as a co-author.