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StatesLege: display_name for legislative sessions #81

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grgcombs opened this Issue Jul 17, 2011 · 12 comments

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grgcombs commented Jul 17, 2011

We need a shorter and prettier way to handle legislative session strings. I display them to indicate different sessions for bill search results. Texas and several others are easy, like "82" or "821" ... California must hate me because their's looks like "20102011 Special Session 4a Dot Com Alpha Gamma Zulu"). Those are unsightly when listing available sessions for data to the user in a small interface menu.


From @jamesturk

I'm thinking our best option will be to just add a display_name,
that'll often be the same as name and it is a little annoying, but the
other option is to make the programmatic name change whenever we want
to tweak the display a little. Sound good to you?


From @grgcombs

Absolutely ... I think the display_name, even if it's hand-crafted, is a good approach.

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jamesturk commented Jul 18, 2011

So the hard part of this will be finding a semi-consistent style.

Here are the current session names:

124
125
128
129
186th
187th
19
2007
2007s1
2008
2009
2009 A
2009 Regular Session
2009 Special Session
2009-2010
2009-2010 Special Session #1 (Transportation)
20091E
20092010
20092010 Special Session 1
20092010 Special Session 2
20092010 Special Session 3
20092010 Special Session 4
20092010 Special Session 5
20092010 Special Session 6
20092010 Special Session 7
20092010 Special Session 8
20092E
20093E
2010
2010 1st Special Session
2010 2nd Special Session
2010 Extraordinary Session
2010 Regular Session
20101E
20102E
2010Special26
2011
2011 1st Extraordinary Session
2011 Regular Session
2011-2012
20112012
20112012 Special Session 1
214
26
27
49th-1st-regular
49th-1st-special
49th-2nd-regular
49th-2nd-special
49th-3rd-special
49th-4th-special
49th-5th-special
49th-6th-special
49th-7th-special
49th-8th-special
49th-9th-special
50th-1st-regular
50th-1st-special
50th-2nd-special
75
76
81
811
82
821
December 2009 Special Session
January 2011 Special Session
June 2009 Special Session

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jamesturk commented Jul 18, 2011

How long is too long for a display name for StateLege? Realizing that lots of times making these readable means making them longer.

Might wind up needing a short_name/long_name suited to the different applications. (For example, 2009-2010 Special Session #1 (Transportation) is the most readable way to display that data but I'm guessing is one of the least suitable for mobile)

Also, to be readable, 811/821 for Texas should probably read as 82nd Legislature, 1st Special Session or similar.

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grgcombs commented Jul 18, 2011

2009 Regular Session, 82nd Legislature, ones like these are fine.

20092010 Special Session 1 ... too big and just ugly.
2009-2010 Special Session #1 (Transportation) ... definitely too big.

January 2011 Special Session is pushing it ... if they really call it that, then maybe we can shorten to Jan (or 01-) 2011 Special Session

Really, the if they're in the 20 character range, that's fine, but even the shorter ones are just awfully ugly, so if we're creating these display names by hand, we might as well treat them right ;-)

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grgcombs commented Jul 19, 2011

So here's what I'm thinking ...

Where years are used in the term:

  • 2012 Regular Session
  • 2011-2010 Regular Session
  • 2009-2010, 1st Special

I love ordinal numbers for display, so maybe something like this:

  • 184th Legislature
  • 185th Legislature
  • 82nd Regular Session
  • 81st, 1st Special Session
  • (or alternatively)
  • 81st, (1st Called) Session ... TX only? Are other states' special sessions "called" by the governor too?
  • 50th, 3rd Special Session

On the use of "Regular" vs. "Legislature/Legislative" or "General" sessions, that's probably something my colleagues would love to debate over, but solely on pure aesthetics, I prefer this formula:

Whenever there are no special sessions in that state's list:

  • [Ordinal Term] Legislature

Otherwise, if there are at least some special sessions in that state's list:

  • [Ordinal Term] Regular Session
  • [Ordinal Term][comma] [Ordinal] Special Session
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jamesturk commented Jul 19, 2011

I like your proposal. I know this could lead to hours of argument so since you put forward the first comprehensive proposal I'll adopt it.

Also, I think for months we can go with the shortened month name and hopefully keep them short enough without losing meaning.

Might be another day or so before I go through and to these, if I'm going to edit every metadata file I'd like to try and do it all in one sweep and I'm still looking at options for indicating availability of data on a per-session basis.

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grgcombs commented Jul 19, 2011

Sounds good. I absolutely appreciate it. I think it'll make a big difference in the overall user experience.

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grgcombs commented Jul 19, 2011

Also, if you're comfortable with it, I can pitch in on the labor and
tedium aspects

On Tuesday, July 19, 2011, jamesturk
reply@reply.github.com
wrote:

I like your proposal. I know this could lead to hours of argument so since you put forward the first comprehensive proposal I'll adopt it.

Also, I think for months we can go with the shortened month name and hopefully keep them short enough without losing meaning.

Might be another day or so before I go through and to these, if I'm going to edit every metadata file I'd like to try and do it all in one sweep and I'm still looking at options for indicating availability of data on a per-session basis.

Reply to this email directly or view it on GitHub:
#81 (comment)

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jamesturk commented Jul 19, 2011

I've written this up @ https://github.com/sunlightlabs/openstates/wiki/Session-Naming-Style-Guide for posterity, feel free to make edits. Also we'll keep in mind that practicality beats purity, if a session would have an absurd name we'll bend the rules.

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jamesturk commented Jul 20, 2011

these are all now live, feel free to request changes to specific display_names

@jamesturk jamesturk closed this Jul 20, 2011

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grgcombs commented Jul 20, 2011

AWESOME! I've got them incorporated now. Looks much better.

One question, will there always be a session_details and display name
for each state? For instance, if a state's session ID already matches
our standard, do we skip the creation of the display_name? I ask
because if it's really standard, I can skip a few conditional checks.

G

On Wednesday, July 20, 2011, jamesturk
reply@reply.github.com
wrote:

these are all now live, feel free to request changes to specific display_names

Reply to this email directly or view it on GitHub:
#81 (comment)

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jamesturk commented Jul 20, 2011

For ease of use I went ahead and just added them in the cases where they
match, that'll allow us more flexibility. If one is missing we'll consider
it a bug.

Metadata validation probably needs some attention with these updates, once
that is done we can catch any oversights before they go live (I verified we
have them for all active states this time though)

On Wed, Jul 20, 2011 at 5:43 PM, grgcombs <
reply@reply.github.com>wrote:

AWESOME! I've got them incorporated now. Looks much better.

One question, will there always be a session_details and display name
for each state? For instance, if a state's session ID already matches
our standard, do we skip the creation of the display_name? I ask
because if it's really standard, I can skip a few conditional checks.

G

On Wednesday, July 20, 2011, jamesturk
reply@reply.github.com
wrote:

these are all now live, feel free to request changes to specific
display_names

Reply to this email directly or view it on GitHub:

#81 (comment)

Reply to this email directly or view it on GitHub:
#81 (comment)

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grgcombs commented Jul 20, 2011

Wicked. Great work James. Thanks for the rapid turnaround.

On Wed, Jul 20, 2011 at 4:46 PM, jamesturk
reply@reply.github.com
wrote:

For ease of use I went ahead and just added them in the cases where they
match, that'll allow us more flexibility.  If one is missing we'll consider
it a bug.

Metadata validation probably needs some attention with these updates, once
that is done we can catch any oversights before they go live (I verified we
have them for all active states this time though)

On Wed, Jul 20, 2011 at 5:43 PM, grgcombs <
reply@reply.github.com>wrote:

AWESOME!  I've got them incorporated now. Looks much better.

One question, will there always be a session_details and display name
for each state?  For instance, if a state's session ID already matches
our standard, do we skip the creation of the display_name?  I ask
because if it's really standard, I can skip a few conditional checks.

G

On Wednesday, July 20, 2011, jamesturk
reply@reply.github.com
wrote:

these are all now live, feel free to request changes to specific
display_names

Reply to this email directly or view it on GitHub:

#81 (comment)

Reply to this email directly or view it on GitHub:
#81 (comment)

Reply to this email directly or view it on GitHub:
#81 (comment)

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