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Do you use our Passage of a Bill guide? We would like to know your views on our guide and to understand how you think it could be improved.

An independent research agency, TNS-BMRB, is conducting research on our behalf during March.

TNS-BMRB has set up a discussion forum where you can post comments about the Passage of a Bill guide, tell us what you like about it and where you think changes can be made.

You will be asked to contribute to the discussion forum each day for four days.

If you would like to contribute to this research, or if you would like more information, please e-mail Elizabeth or Andrew at TNS-BMRB:

Last year the House of Commons published the Equality Bill in a trial format. The text of the Equality Bill and its Explanatory Notes was published as one document, with the Bill text and Explanatory Note text interwoven throughout the document.

Latest developments

Following feedback from the Equality Bill exercise we have developed the interwoven idea further. We have posted an experimental version of the Digital Economy Bill on a separate website so that we can experiment with the online presentation of a Bill.

This latest version allows you to move from the clauses of the Bill to the section of the Act the clause will affect. (At present some of the links take you to the Act as originally passed by Parliament and others take you to the updated version of the Act. Ideally all links would take you to the updated Act but for now we hope that this gives you an indication of what we are trying to achieve.)

We have also made improvements to the layout of the interwoven Bill & Explanatory Notes, you now have the option to display relevant explanatory text (taken from the Explanatory Note) below or alongside each clause of the Bill.

There are still several formatting and presentational issues on some browsers, for best results try FireFox or Safari.

Tell us what you think

We would like to hear from you:

  • Do you find this version of the Bill helpful?
  • Does it help you carry out your work?
  • Does it help you understand the purpose and content of the Bill?
  • How can we improve the presentation of Explanatory Notes?
  • What else could we do to make it easier for you to work with these Bill documents and to make them serve your needs better?

For those more technically minded, our developers would be particularly interested to know:

  • Is the use of RDFa useful?
  • Should the HTML produced be valid HTML 5?
  • Should fragments of Bills be made available, in addition to the whole Bill?
  • Should a Bill still be readable on a browser without CSS or Javascript available?

Let us know what you think on the blog comments or by email: webmaster@parliament.uk

Users of Hansard on the parliamentary website often comment on the need to improve its presentation. Recently the web team has been working with members of the Hansard team and PICT (Parliament’s ICT department) to improve our Hansard pages.

The fruits of our labour can be viewed on our Hansard Beta site

What have we done?

Development work is being done in phases.
 
The first phase consists of:

  • better layout, with improved content list, font size etc
  • better chunking of content – so that you can view/print a whole debate and without having to click on the continue button
  • better structure – while this won’t be visible to users, it will help Parliament make further improvements more easily

This release is just the first step.  We want to be able to make better use of this content so that it can be repackaged throughout the website.  To do this we are working with Hansard and Parliamentary ICT department to improve the code.

Lots more to do

A Hansard project is underway looking at all the tools used to create the paper copy of Hansard; we hope the improvements made to the production of Hansard will make it easier for the web team and other websites to reuse this amazingly rich content.

This is only the start; next we want to focus on Hansard by Member, so that each MP or Lords contributions can be easily found, followed and reused.

We would love to hear what you think about the new Hansard pages. Email webmaster@parliament.uk or comment on this post.

The House of Commons agreed on 30 March 2009 to a Report from the Procedure Committee recommending that there should be an experiment with the format of interleaving bills and Explanatory Notes in the case of a single bill in the current Session.

As recommended by the Procedure Committee, the House of Commons has today published the Equality Bill in a trial format as proposed by Chris Bryant MP, from the Deputy Leader of the House.

The Bill and Explanatory Notes are available as a:

  • PDF with both texts side-by-side,
  • an HTML with the texts side-by-side, and
  • an interwoven web page (HTML)

All versions are available on the Equality Bill page

The Procedure Committee of the House of Commons is interested in feedback on this experiment, specifically:

  • Do you find the interleaved document more helpful than the 2 separate documents?
  • Which version of the interleaved document do you prefer? The PDF side-by-side, the HTML side-by-side, or the interwoven web page (HTML)?

The Web Centre would like to know your thoughts on this development, do you know of other sites that have this functionality, is there is a better way to present this information.

Let us know what you think on the blog comments or by email: webmaster@parliament.uk

Web team filming the christmas tree

Web team filming the christmas tree

The web team has acquired some new kit so that we can produce our own video content for the website.   As Miranda and I are fairly new to filming the rest of the team suggested that we record the Christmas tree being put up in New Palace Yard. 

Easy task you might think, not much movement to capture, you just set up the camera and film the workmen as they put up the tree; add the decorations and switch on the lights!

On Saturday from 7.30am until 5.30pm we stood in New Palace Yard and filmed the workmen putting up the Christmas tree.  We battled the cold, the rain and a very wonky tripod – but we would not be defeated. Now if you can only bear with us we will attempt to edit said footage into a 2 minute film! It might be ready for next Christmas!

In the meantime visit our Christmas tree set on flickr – that should whet your appetite.

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