Data Availability, Information Quality, Accountability...

Make Your Public Documents on the web and citable to a paragraph

WHAT

Urge governments to publish granular permalinks for all documents on their websites.

WHY

* Enable citizens to reliably cite government websites on their personal blogs, on public sites like Wikipedia, or elsewhere.

* Provide unique identifiers that enable aggregation of citations.

* Make the civic discourse surrounding government websites more discoverable.

HOW

* An easy-to-deploy archival server that can take page snapshots

o Hosts all permalinks

o Could be hosted by the agency or a third party

o Uses a software version-control tool as the primary database

o Allows other parties to replicate the data

o Likely an easy install of a Linux server distribution with the archival tools included

* Quick and easy integration solution

o Include Javascript on each page that ensures the archival server takes snapshots as each page changes

o The Javascript also walks through the HTML DOM to add permalinks to each paragraph

o The "easy integration" method works with even static HTML

* Long-term integration solution

o Option one

+ CMS pushes changes directly to the archival server

+ CMS integrates the archival server's permalinks directly into HTML

+ Most streamlined option

o Option two

+ A proxy server (base on Squid/Varnish?) that pushes changed content to the archival server

+ The proxy server modifies the content passing through it to add permalinks to the HTML

+ Works with any CMS and even static HTML

o More accessible

o No Javascript required

o Broadly applicable integration model (text filtering/formatting plugin) that works with even basic blog and CMS tools

* Mark up documents using paragraph/sectional anchor tags to create nice anchors that go directly to the correct paragraph

* Permalinks are human-readable URLs with timestamps, document ID, and an an anchor to the section/paragraph

o Example: Http://archive.house.gov/HR1586IH/20030318233035#S1b1Bii

o The example would point to section 1, subsection b, chapter 1, paragraph B, clause ii in SB 1234 on May 2, 2009 at 8:26:16 am UTC

WHEN

* We are fund-raising to both hire programmers to write the tools and to have codeathons where programmers donate their time to write Open Source tools they believe in.

* We are recruiting different levels of government implementation one agency at a time. Your support on http://citability.org will illustrate the demand.

* We are asking various proprietary software vendors to implement this standard in their software products.

WHERE

* Http://citability.org - sign up and show your support

* http://citability.pbworks.com - to help promote or to feedback on the internal standards we are suggesting. We are talking various implementations in different software to backups and server failover settings.

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Idea No. 219