Virginia General Assembly RSS feed.

Wanna keep tabs on the status of bills in the General Assembly? Me too. So I created a Virginia General Assembly RSS feed. Add it to your news reader and you’ll be notified of all new bills filed in the General Assembly. If it works correctly, you’ll even be notified as the status of those bills change — when they’re assigned to committees, voted on etc.

Fellow programmers may be interested to know how this was accomplished. It’s totally easy. I created an account on the General Assembly site, providing me with access to generate reports. I grabbed the POST data for a fairly robust CSV request and used wget to reproduce that request from the command line, faking the cookie-based authentication via a header. I turned that into a shell script. Then I wrote a little PHP script that parses that CSV and turns it into an RSS file. I set both up a cron job to run both scripts, and that was that.

Happy Belated Christmas.

11 thoughts on “Virginia General Assembly RSS feed.”

  1. Seriously, how can I exploit this to make my site better (than yours)?

    Read it, find bills that interest you, research them, and write about them. We’ll all be better for that.

  2. I don’t understand the slightest bit of what you are explaining, but Cookies are always good.(even fake ones)
    And oh yes, thanks for a most useful, ambitious, awesome service!
    There truly is no salt on your tail, bubbula!
    I am glad that you are on our side. :-)

  3. That’s got to be one of the best presents this Christmas. Wish the lobbyist-in-a-box people would learn how to generate feeds rather than annoying email notices to sign into the vita or whatever-the-heck-it-is-these-days site…

  4. Thanks, Waldo. Setting up some feeds was one of my new year’s resolutions, and you got me to accomplish it on day one. Don’t know if I can handle such a brisk pace through the rest…

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