Personal blogging by Steph Gray, founder of Helpful Digital and erstwhile bureaucrat

Featured posts

Civil Service jobs, your way

March 17, 2009

The Cabinet Office has recently relaunched its Civil Service website and job search function, including a little ‘Developers‘ page tucked away in the footer. That page describes a rather lovely little API which lets anyone – with a freely-available key – retrieve a list of departments, vacancies and vacancy descriptions, including RDFa markup to the…

How to open source your stuff

March 7, 2009

One of the most rewarding things about open sourcing your stuff – for example, some code we developed for an internal project – is seeing what clever people do with it in ways you wouldn’t expect. At my talk at eDemocracy 08, I put up the chart below to try to illustrate four of the…

ConsultationXML goes open source

February 27, 2009

As Harry’s explained over on The Dextrous Web, we’ve just open sourced the code behind ConsultationXML, the tool we’ve been working on which turns consultation PDF files into XML. It’s a 0.1 release so still full of bugs, but at least it’s out there. You can download the (documented) code, and/or have a play with…

Where next for Real Help Now?

February 23, 2009

As Simon Dickson and Dave Briggs have written up, today has seen the launch of a new site aimed at bringing together a range of information and help under the banner of Real Help Now, which I’ve been helping with. So far, there’s not much to say, as Simon says: We aren’t making any great…

Flexible bookmarklists: your friendly listing of Delicious-tagged items

February 9, 2009

A post over on the CILIP blog got me thinking about a couple of minor tweaks to the software behind digitalgovuk (which, lacking inspiration, I’ve called Bookmarklist. Rather than hard coding the base tag, we could make the URL a bit more hackable, and thus generate the same kind of friendly-looking listing of Delicious bookmarks…

Which constituency is that in?

February 6, 2009

I’m learning that old skool stakeholder engagement involves a lot of spreadsheets. We needed to work out which UK Parliamentary constituencies some organisations were in, to identify who needed to be contacted about an issue.  400 organisations, in fact. Could have been a boring day’s work for someone, but became instead quite an enjoyable lunchtime…