It was another pretty quiet week, with some continued tweaks mostly focused on the backend to help things flow more smoothly. We are looking to once again parter with Code for Boston on a hackathon this coming January, however, so this is a great time to get involved with our work there and, if you’re interested in helping plan something that would be good for folks to jump into, let us know.
For previous site improvements, check out all of MuckRock’s release notes, and if you’d like to get a list of site improvements every Tuesday - along with ways to help contribute to the site’s development yourself - subscribe to our developer newsletter here.
What’s new on MuckRock
Autoimport time limit increase
A good chunk of FOIA responses still have to physically be mailed in; the last few weeks, the number of pages we have processed has spiked, including tens of thousands of pages of emails being sent to us via USB thumbdrive. We’ve made some tweaks to better handle these super-large document dumps.
Improving FOIAonline autologin logging
We recently shared that we had automated some FOIAonline log in processes, with a particular focus on getting rid of account lockouts. Last week, we added more logging to double check everything is working as expected.
Code for Boston’s winter hackathon
Code for Boston is planning a tentative hackathon; the date hasn’t been confirmed yet but the 26th is a strong possibility. We’d love to see you there and hack on some cool transparency tools! To find out more and get involved with Code for Boston, check out their webpage.
Come hack on MuckRock
Speaking of contributing, we have a growing group of volunteer hackers helping to make MuckRock’s suite of tools better every day. We have a project and a weekly newsletter, “Release Notes,” that highlights everything we’re working on. Register to get a summary of site updates each week and details on open issues you can help with.
Check out some of our issues labeled “help wanted” for ideas on where’s good to start, or just pop into our Slack’s #Developers channel.
Subscribers to the weekly newsletter get exclusive data sets, FOIA-related scripts, and other transparency hacker tidbits exclusively for subscribers. You can subscribe to to the newsletter at the top or bottom of this page.
If you want to contribute better FOIA tools for thousands of requesters, there’s a number of ways to help. If you find a bug you can email us directly or open an issue on GitHub.
If you do the latter, please search open issues first to make sure it hasn’t already been reported. If it has been reported previously, please leave an additional comment letting us know it’s an issue for you, particularly if you can provide more details about when it crops up or what you think is causing the problem.
In addition to the new newsletter, we have a developer channel on the MuckRock Slack.
Image via Wikimedia Commons