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Page history last edited by David Strauss 11 years, 4 months ago

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Possible Problem 1:

"We couldn't possibly store all those old copies.  It takes up too much room!"


Possible Solution:

Well not really... certainly e-documents take up less room that all those books.  But regardless. 


If you setup an RSS feed telling us when you update - archive.org will scrape your site and keep all versions.  If you setup a server redirect then the link will never fail.  Don't worry if it seems like a hard backend thing,  it isn't and your sysadmin will know what I am talking about.  And the citizens get to keep these easy to understand links! 



Any modern VCS tool (like Bazaar or git) uses deltas with occasional complete copies. This means the ongoing storage required is roughly proportional to the quantity and sizes changes to documents. --David Strauss


Possible Problem 2:

The numbering of legal document sections does not follow any kind of predictable scheme.  Therefore, one must be very careful to not create an ambiguous API.  For example, consider this partial section listing from the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (NB: This isn't an obscure example; it's current law, and these sections were the subject of litigation before the US Supreme Court in 2008):


SEC. 633.

(a) Federal action superseding State action

(b) Limitation of Federal action upon commencement of State proceedings


SEC. 633a.

(a) Federal agencies affected

(b) Enforcement by Equal Employment Opportunity Commission...


Under the proposed URL scheme, .../633a would be a valid url.  But what would it refer to?


-Robb Shecter, founder of OregonLaws.org

Possible Solution:

The current scheme has solved this problem, and we can learn from it.  I.e., these are all unambiguous:  633a, 633a(a), 633(a), 633(a)(1), etc.


I'd suggest seeing what characters are valid and supported in a URL.  If parentheses are, then use the current scheme unchanged.  Otherwise, try square brackets, etc.


Because section identifiers will be anchor tags, each document may identify its sections using any ASCII-based identifier. For documents providing nice section identifiers, it will be the document or CMS's responsibility to ensure they are unique. The archival server can verify uniqueness and raise alarms (and fall back to numbering them with integers) if the section IDs aren't unique for a given document. --David Strauss

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