Your Website is Your API: Quick Wins for Government Data

Feb 1, 2009

This is the talk I prepared for the UKGovWeb Barcamp, in blog form. It’s probably better this way. Most of what’s written here seems blindingly obvious to me, and probably to most readers of this blog, but maybe Google will direct someone here who finds it useful.

Working with public-sector information on the web, one of the things that I take an interest in is making government data freely available for anyone to re-present, mash-up, analyse and generally do whatever they want to do. This post is born out of a feeling that the people who control data don’t realise that the smallest changes can be beneficial: they don’t need to do everything right now, just something.

Job Opportunity at TSO

Jan 30, 2009

The Stationery Office, where I’ve been working as a contractor for the last two years, is looking (rather desperately) for two “content developers” to work in Norwich in a permanent capacity for around £38-42k.

Working With Fragmented Overlapping Markup

Dec 28, 2008

In my last post I talked about different techniques for representing overlap within XML. One technique is fragmentation. In the work that I’ve been doing, I’ve been using milestone-based formats similar to ECLIX, but my eyes were opened at the GODDAG workshop: fragmentation would make overlap so much easier to process in XSLT, especially when dealing with localised overlap such as revision or comment markup.

But how could fragmentation be used with full-on overlap? I had a little play and came up with some XSLT to demonstrate.

Representing Overlap in XML

Dec 18, 2008

I’m still on an overlap jag. I’ve shown some examples in the last couple of posts of TexMECS, XCONCUR and LMNL syntax, which depart from the usual well-formedness strictures in XML. But these syntaxes have one big problem: they’re not XML. XML is well-known, well-understood, and has great tools available for it, for querying, transforming, and pipelining. So it would be a real win if overlap could be represented within XML in a usable manner.

Essential Hierarchy

Dec 9, 2008

In my last post I discussed the kinds of situations where overlapping markup can appear in documents, and the distinction between containment, when one element happens to contain another, and dominance, where the relationship between the two elements is more meaningful. Here I’ll expand a bit more on the issue of whether dominance relationships are or should be part of the essential information in the document.