Release Notes: Clearer header images and building a release pipeline for GovLens

Release Notes: Clearer header images and building a release pipeline for GovLens

Come hack transparency with us every Tuesday night

Edited by Beryl Lipton

Last week, we released a fix to stop certain news article header images from getting improperly compressed. We also worked on GovLens design updates and improved the release pipeline.

Also, if you happen to be coming to ONA this week, join us at DocumentCloud’s 10th birthday party or at [our joint event with Hacks/Hackers, Refactoring the News](

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

Fixed overly aggressive image compression bug

We want to make MuckRock fast and responsive. One of the ways we have worked to speed up the site is by compressing header images on article pages, as they tend to be the largest visual items outside of documents. Unfortunately, during some tweaking we were a little too aggressive, leading a few images to become overly pixelated. We have switched that, turning off compression on our header images that use the PNG and TIF file formats.

GovLens update

Last week, we made progress on some basic GovLens wireframes, including thinking through various flows and how to minimize the number of pages we’ll have at launch.

A wireframe of a potential GovLens homepage

We’ve also been continuing to refactor GovLens to make it more organized and easier to move from code to a staging environment.

Come hack transparency with us

Every Tuesday night, we gather in Cambridge with a group of coders, designers, and others who want to see more open government. The past few months, we’ve been mixing MuckRock’s agency database with a set of scanners and scrapers to help gauge the accessibility, mobile-friendliness, and security of America’s digital infrastructure.

You can find out more and join us by checking out Code for Boston’s website.

Reporting bugs and submitting fixes

There are a number of other ways to help us continue to improve the core MuckRock site experience. 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 good places 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 the newsletter at the top or bottom of this page.

If you spot a bug or have a feature request, you can also help by opening an issue on GitHub.

If you do, 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