Release Notes: Agency and jurisdiction RSS feeds, a Sunshine Week repo, and tweaked article caching

Release Notes: Agency and jurisdiction RSS feeds, a Sunshine Week repo, and tweaked article caching

Come hack transparency with us Tuesday night in Boston

Edited by JPat Brown

You can now subscribe to RSS feeds of agencies and jurisdictions to get updates on new and completed requests within those jurisdictions. We’ve also set up a GitHub repo for our Sunshine Week project. Join us in opening up government Tuesday night at Code for Boston or anytime in our Slack.

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.

Site updates

New “secret” RSS feeds for agencies and jurisdiction

A while back, we highlighted our “Secret Menu” of RSS feeds. As a reminder, you can subscribe to get updates to a user’s public requests via RSS:

Last week, we added two more RSS feeds, this time for new requests submitted to agencies and jurisdictions. The RSS feeds should be suggested if you try subscribing to your page in your favorite RSS reader, or you can get the feeds by replacing the numbers below with the agency or jurisdiction ID (the number found at the end of the page’s URL):

Let us know what you think about the new feeds — maybe a clever developer can build the next useful MuckBot.

Code for Boston / Sunshine Week project GitHub repo

We’ve set up a repo to organize our Sunshine Week project work. If you’re in the Boston area, we’ll be meeting at 7 p.m. with Code for Boston to continue work on the Sproject. The team is building a site that showcases the best FOIA suggestions and public records request ideas.

We’re looking for three key areas of assistance:

  • Designers, to help come up with a simple but effective way to showcase one FOIA suggestion at a time and put that idea into action.
  • Python developers that can tap our Assignments API to populate the above design with FOIA suggestions.
  • Researchers to help populate the database with interesting FOIA ideas and tips.

All are welcome to join — just check out Code for Boston for meetup details.

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