Winner of Best Idea award, CivicApps for Greater Portland

Robb, the creator of OregonLaws.org, was honored by the City of Portland for his Civic App idea: "The end result is that the city would focus on what only it can do best: providing raw data about itself, and, similar to the Secretary of State’s business registry, acting as a means of identification and authentication." … Continue reading Winner of Best Idea award, CivicApps for Greater Portland

Robb to present at Law.Gov workshop: Access to the Raw Materials of Our Democracy

"Law.Gov is a national conversation about broader access to primary legal materials in the United States across all three branches of government and across the federal, state, and local governments. . . . "The workshops have examined copyright restrictions, privacy implications, and the technical underpinnings necessary to provide authenticated access to bulk legal materials. "This … Continue reading Robb to present at Law.Gov workshop: Access to the Raw Materials of Our Democracy

Christmas present for New York: permalinks to the state laws

(Hanukkah fell during finals this year, so there was no way I could get it done in time.) Up until now, authors had to resort to tortured instructions when linking to N.Y. laws.  Here's how the Citizen Media Law Project does it in their excellent document, Forming a Corporation in New York: . . . … Continue reading Christmas present for New York: permalinks to the state laws

First internally hyperlinked New York Laws online

I'm completing an internally hyperlinked version of the New York Laws.  I've looked hard, but I haven't found any other sites that link the cross references in the text itself.  (Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.)  Why hasn't this been done before?  Take a look at Abandoned Property Law § 1222: The provisions of … Continue reading First internally hyperlinked New York Laws online

A technical post: Ruby interpreter comparison—MRI 1.9.1 vs. REE 1.8.7

I ran a small, controlled "real-world" experiment comparing these two interpreters.  The results show identical time performance. My interest is Rails application speed This site, OregonLaws.org, is a Rails 2.3.4 application.  (These blog pages are the sole exception, running on WordPress.)  I manage the architecture and deployment so that server response time is 200 ms … Continue reading A technical post: Ruby interpreter comparison—MRI 1.9.1 vs. REE 1.8.7

New human-friendly “research trail”

A trail of links for re-tracing your steps which shows up in two places.  There's an intuitive always-present sidebar view: for example, today's research steps are simply marked "Today" --- instead of cluttering the display with today's date.The second, more detailed view of the trail (see screenshot below), is under the "My Laws" tab.  The … Continue reading New human-friendly “research trail”

It’s the little things that count: new spell-corrections in the search results

A lot of small subtle pieces go into making a search experience that's smooth and keeps the visitor in control at all times: breadcrumbs ("Home > Search results"), a new search "form" pre-populated with the previous query, a prompt clearly explaining the results of the last action ("Your search..."), an offer to continue on from … Continue reading It’s the little things that count: new spell-corrections in the search results

Five superseded Oregon ORS editions: 2005, 2003, 2001, 1999 and 1997

Last night I discovered a great source of vintage versions of the Oregon Revised Statutes: The Internet Archive's WayBack Machine.  I had a true Homer Simpson moment --- "Doh!  Why didn't I think of this before?"  For research-aholics, this is nothing short of nirvana. Great but not perfect The WayBack Machine isn't a perfect solution, … Continue reading Five superseded Oregon ORS editions: 2005, 2003, 2001, 1999 and 1997

Now serving secondary sources — relevant articles that give context and news

Articles from newspapers and other publications are now feeding into the OregonLaws.org database and are beginning to appear alongside the primary sources. For example, the page for ORS 447.233, Accessible Parking Space Requirements, now points to a recent Oregonian article, When Disabled Parking Disables the Disabled. Another is ORS 737.320, Review of Certain [Workers' Comp … Continue reading Now serving secondary sources — relevant articles that give context and news