[Open-Legislation] "European Parliament to share amendment web tool as open source"

JOSEFSSON Erik erik.josefsson at europarl.europa.eu
Thu May 17 05:17:59 UTC 2012


When and how?


On 05/12/2012 11:48 PM, Rufus Pollock wrote:
> Great news Erik. Would this be worthy of a full blog post?
> Rufus
> On 11 May 2012 17:53, JOSEFSSON Erik <erik.josefsson at europarl.europa.eu> wrote:
>> Dear all,
>> Congrats to all of us!!
>> Link:
>> https://joinup.ec.europa.eu/news/european-parliament-share-amendment-web-tool-open-source
>> Piggyback link: http://epfsug.eu/become-a-member-or-a-supporter
>> //Erik
>> European Parliament to share amendment web tool as open source
>> The IT department of the European Parliament will next year make available
>> as open source At4am, software that helps staff at the EP write amendments.
>> The tool could be useful for many other parliaments and other public bodies
>> that create legislative texts. The United Nations and the parliaments in
>> Denmark and in the United Kingdom have expressed interest in the software.
>> "Processes for drafting legal texts differ from parliament to parliament. We
>> hope that by sharing our software, we can at least inspire other legislative
>> bodies", says Claudio Fabiani, Project Manager at DG ITEC, the Directorate
>> General of the European Parliament, and involved in the development of
>> At4am.
>> The decision to make At4am (Automatic Tool for AMendments) open source was
>> taken in recent months. It was briefly mentioned last week Thursday during a
>> workshop in the EP on the use of XML for drafting legislation.
>> The At4am web editing tool was first made available to the EP staff in early
>> 2010. It can only be accessed by users logged in to the EP's Intranet.
>> Any browser
>> The web editor can be used in any web browser. EP staff write amendments by
>> creating files in an XML format which is designed especially for
>> parliamentary, legislative and judiciary documents. That XML schema, called
>> Akoma Ntoso, is currently under consideration for standardisation at OASIS.
>> The software saves the EP staff time by automatically applying the rules for
>> drafting such amendments. When opening a text, At4am shows which paragraphs
>> can be changed and presents the user with editing information. This
>> information is stored as metadata for the amendment.
>> All amendments are saved in the At4am database as content, rendering codes
>> and metadata. They can be exported either in the Akoma Ntoso XML schema or
>> saved as a binary electronic document.
>> The application itself is available in the three working languages of EP,
>> English, French and German. All documents to amend however are instantly
>> accessible in any of the official languages of the EU.
>> Licence combination
>> The IT department at the EP has not yet decided which open source licence it
>> will use. "Maybe we will use the EU's open source licence, the EUPL, but we
>> might also pick another one, or make a combination", says Fabiani.
>> The software developers also have not yet settled where they will publish
>> the source code. The EC's Joinup software repository is one option, Fabiani
>> says. "Though maybe we will settle for Google's software forge, or both. We
>> just started thinking about all of this."
>> The open source version will not be exactly the same as the software used in
>> the EP, explains Fabiani. "It has some functions that are unique to the EP.
>> To make sure it can be implemented by or is useful for other parliaments, we
>> will first have to untangle some of the legislative context and services."
>> More information:
>> International workshop: Identifying benefits deriving from the adoption of
>> XML-based chains for drafting legislation
>> --
>> Erik Josefsson
>> Advisor on Internet Policies
>> Greens/EFA Group
>> GSM: +32484082063
>> BXL: PHS 04C075 TEL: +3222832667
>> SBG: WIC M03005 TEL: +33388173776
>> _______________________________________________
>> open-legislation mailing list
>> open-legislation at lists.okfn.org
>> http://lists.okfn.org/mailman/listinfo/open-legislation

Erik Josefsson
Advisor on Internet Policies
Greens/EFA Group
GSM: +32484082063
BXL: PHS 04C075 TEL: +3222832667
SBG: WIC M03005 TEL: +33388173776
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