House makes resolutions in XML

House makes resolutions in XML

The House of Representatives is pioneering its shift to Extensible Markup Language with simple resolutions, which started in January.

'Our goal is to begin production of some introduced bills using XML by January 2003,' said Joe Carmel, chief of legislative computer systems. Testing is now under way on XML output of new bills, he said.

The House last year completed more than 100 document type definitions (DTDs) for its entire output of bills, resolutions, correspondence and other production elements [see story at www.gcn.com/20_25/inbrief/16922-1.html].

Current House output is searchable only by bill numbers or keywords, but in XML it would be searchable by titles, names, tables, subheadings and other components. A folder of XML documents essentially becomes a database searchable by browser.

A sample of the XML coding for a House bill appears at xml.house.gov/hr10.xml. It shows how each line, name and term has an identifying tag, created by exporting the document from a word processor such as Microsoft Word or Corel WordPerfect into a special XML template. The tags automatically control typography and create entries for tables of contents and indexes. They can serve for paper or electronic publication.

The House DTDs, which the Government Printing Office helped design, are in the public domain.


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