We’ve been working on the Hansard Prototype in public since January this year (2008). We’ve also run quite a few prototypes within Parliament, that haven’t reached the public web. Most of these prototypes are still running, but certainly not in a state we could release.
We’re going to be working on the Hansard Prototype until the people paying for it tell us to stop, or until we run out of ways to do what we’re asked to do. Coming up: more source data, better handling of speaker names, more accurate recognition of bills and acts. That’s the plan, at least.
We’re also working on a somewhat generic ‘Knowledge Base’ application, the code of which is publicly available on GitHub. It’s not going to be particularly useful if you don’t have access to the source data, but it might be interesting.
Another public project is an approach to a new ‘Find Your MP’ service. There’s code on GitHub, but it’s only a skeleton Rails application at present. That might change soon.
Although we’re running as much as we can in public, we’re only a very small part of the work that goes on within the Parliamentary Service. There are all sorts of applications and systems that keep the whole process running – just because it’s not immediately visible doesn’t mean it’s not happening.
Thanks also to Bibliothekia for their recent comments: flattering though it is to be included in consideration with the Power of Information Task Force work, we’re Parliament, not government. We’re a much smaller outfit, with different constraints and goals. Hopefully we can continue to be useful! Any criticism, positive or negative, is most welcome. We’re very grateful that people take the time to comment on what we do.