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You may have seen the news story, but if not please email your question webmaster@parliament.uk, tweet UK Parliament Twitter, or use the comment box below. The deadline for submitting questions is 20 July. While we cannot guarantee we will ask your specific question, all contributions will be considered in planning the interview.

On 22 July, the Parliament web team will interview the new Commons Speaker John Bercow. We want the public to send us their questions to put to the Speaker as part of this exclusive filmed interview and podcast, which we will publish on the Parliament website at the end of July.

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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

Last week we launched our improved news service: http://news.parliament.uk/

This new area allows our editorial team to expand the service they already provide: highlighting parliamentary business, reports, events and more.

news-site

News then, news now

Previously our news content was restricted to text on our main landing pages, with no unique URLs (web addresses) for individual stories or associated RSS feeds. Now each news story has its own URL and there is an RSS feed for all the news content.

We are applying our libraries’ taxonomy to each news story, so you can browse news by subject, ie news only about the House of Lords or Bills. This taxonomy stretches into the hundreds, so our news by subject listing will grow as our archive builds up.

RSS and email subscriptions

Each subject has its own RSS feed – we list the the RSS for some of the top level subjects – and users can make their own feed for subjects they are particularly interested in. For example, if you’re interested in the subject Economy and finance, adding ‘rss’ to the end of the URL will give you the RSS feed to subscribe to, the same with adding ‘atom’. (Here are the Wikipedia entries for RSS and Atom feeds – you may also find this video from Common Craft explaining RSS helpful). We also offer the option to subscribe to our main news categories by email.

Using WordPress

Around the office the working title for this project has been ‘WordPress News’, which should give you a clue as to what’s under the hood of the news area: WordPress.org.

WordPress is open source software that is free to use and customise. This is the first time Parliament has used the open source option. The main reasons for doing so are the ability to customise the look and functionality of WordPress easily, it’s economical, and inputting and publishing content is simple and fast. And it lets us provide RSS feeds. And unique, fairly friendly, URLs. Basically everything you’d expect from a website today.

We’re not the first organisation/institution to use WordPress in the UK, perhaps the most famous recent example is the Number 10 website, but we’re happy to be joining an expanding group.

Send us feedback

We are very interested in hearing what you think of this new area and what we can do to improve upon it. Please leave your comments below or email webmaster@parliament.uk

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