Friday, June 03, 2011

More on media-neutral citation

I applaud the start of the http://universalcitation.org/ initiative but would urge those involves to not limit their purvue to just caselaw.

A full picture of the law at any point in time requires not just caselaw but also statutes, session laws and regulations to name but three. Relevant here is Joe Carmel's http://legislink.org/ initiative.

Law is a wonderful example of a domain where standards for citation are at least as important as standards for formats of the documents themselves.

The last 20 years are littered with failed initiatives to standardize the formats for all the document types relevant to law. Universal standard (semantic) formats for legal documents is a wonderful target to aim for but a tremendous amount of value can be unlocked by the significantly less daunting challenge of a universal citation framework.

In KLISS, we use the phrase "no wrong door" to describe the idea that any legal asset (a bill, a statute section, a journal, an attorney general opinion, a regulation, a court judgement etc.) that has cross-references *should* be traversable by machine. Moreover, to do this properly the linkages ahould be such that retrieving new documents by following links, retrieve the assets as they were at the time the originating document was created.

Anything short of that results in an incomplete (or worse, false!) view of the overall legal synoptics involved.

Apache OpenOffice

As a big user of OpenOffice, Xerces, Ant and SVN - to name 4, I'm very happy to see OpenOffice move to Apache Foundation.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

The end of the 2011 Legislative Session in Kansas

Today, the House and the Senate adjourned sine die. We have a lot of very exciting plans for KLISS going forward and work on those starts now. I will be blogging the journey as it unfolds...

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Another step beyond page/line-based citation

I see Illinois Supreme Court has introduced a public domain paragraph-based citation mechanism for their cases.

Those unfamiliar with legal materials may be thinking "Public domain? How could it be otherwise?" Well, believe it or not, page (and line numbers) have, for some considerable time, been contested intellectual property. See star pagination for example.