I’ve been on the move for a while. So I haven’t found much time for CapitolBuddy or to do any coding at all. But since I’ve moved to Rhode Island and started to settle down the past few weeks, the app is taking hold of my life again.
I’ve got the coding bug as they say. (No one says that, I think.)
I’m making some modifications before I release a new version. The most important one being that the app will now download the databases from the internet (an amazon server as of now). This means it won’t require an update in the app to get updated legislators. And both states will be available to download (MO and RI)– although right now, you have to restart the app after you switch states in Settings, and I don’t think that’s totally necessary. But I love completing these little challenges.
Other little tweaks include a “Recent News” link that let’s you see a google news search of their name. Simple but useful, I think.
The biggest pain in the butt (as expected) is getting the legislator data without spending a morning cutting and pasting from a website — as I did yesterday to get RI state senators into an organized table. The scrapers I’ve tried have defeated my patience — but I guess I’ll just need some time to get it working. Currently, I’m using Outwit for some simple data scraping… but bios and committees are just too complicated on this website’s html — it’s totally inconsistent html from page to page.
Plus it’s so annoying to download each legislator head shot one by one. But easier than spending more time looking for a shortcut.
More info to come…