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Cotuit

Providence/Rhode Island High-Tech Infrastructure

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Also by request. A thread to discuss the high-tech/info-tech infrastructure and business in Providence and Rhode Island.

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Also by request. A thread to discuss the high-tech/info-tech infrastructure and business in Providence and Rhode Island.

Thanks, Cotuit.

So to get things rolling, does anyone know the status of the redesign of the Providence City Web site. It's been months since they announced the winner, but I don't see that the design has been implemented at all.

I think that the current site could really use a new look, especially if we're positioning ourseves as a "City of Designers."

PVDJack

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. . .does anyone know the status of the redesign of the Providence City Web site.

i'd imagine the launch of the redesign is not far off. I recently did a presentation with the webmaster from pvd and saw some of the new pages had already been rolled out in a beta version of the site. i've sent him an email for details. Jack: hit me with an email this week and i'll get you his response.

can I get an RSS feed of this thread? I don't imagine I'll be tracking this thread via this forum software and would love to get some sort of digest or feed of the contents so that i can respond when i have relevant information.

thx!

Jim

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There are not RSS feeds for individual threads, only for individual forum sections. The Rhode Island Feed is: RSS.

Alternately, when replying to a thread, there is a an option to choose email notification of replies just below the post box.

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http://www.projo.com/business/johnkostrzew...2x.2b458e3.html

I think the other cities like boston and sanfransisco are make a city wide WIFI for businesses ALONG with its public citizens... and R.I. isn't going to be doing that initially... I see it as a dumb move kind of, it would be very attractive for 20 and 30 year olds to have free or cheap monthly WIFI in an entire state, no? Or am I reading this all wrong

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Thanks, Cotuit.

So to get things rolling, does anyone know the status of the redesign of the Providence City Web site. It's been months since they announced the winner, but I don't see that the design has been implemented at all.

I think that the current site could really use a new look, especially if we're positioning ourseves as a "City of Designers."

PVDJack

i like the second place design better myself... however, i recently saw a post on boingboing about the cleanest pages and how to make a page look wonderful.

boing boing post

direct link

i really think the providence website should take some of that into consideration rather than try to look all flashy. it'd be much more well designed that way.

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A reliable source says that the site should go live with the first tier of pages either this week, or the first week in March. The hold up appears to be getting the winning design from a picture to a css driven design and making that css display properly in IE (which is about the worst browser in the world to have to design around and is unfotunately used by the vast majority of visitors to most gov. websites).

If you're interested in providing feedback on the look and feel as it's deployed, send me an email (sjwillis at willisbros.net) and I'll put you in touch with the webmaster.

jim

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Personally, I dislike the winning design. I checked out the winner's portfolio and the sites on there were of a much higher quality. Not a big fan of the color pallette they chose (red is a very intense color for a Government site) and the navigation could use some work, too.

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Personally, I dislike the winning design. I checked out the winner's portfolio and the sites on there were of a much higher quality. Not a big fan of the color pallette they chose (red is a very intense color for a Government site) and the navigation could use some work, too.

I like the 2nd place winner's design. It feels a little less condensed. I really like the header graphic on there, too.

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It's also interesting to note that the second place design is actually working, while the first place design is being worked on to make work.

Notice the dates of the news items here.

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Personally, I dislike the winning design. I checked out the winner's portfolio and the sites on there were of a much higher quality. Not a big fan of the color pallette they chose (red is a very intense color for a Government site) and the navigation could use some work, too.

i agree. their portfolio is much better tahn what they did for the providence site. in fact, it looks as though they just threw the thing together.

i actually don't mind the site as it is now, probably why i think the other site looks better (nevermind the fact that it's not condensed, one of hte issues i have with teh current page).

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Oh my Maude the city website is pissing me off! I'm trying to find some information and I'm totally going crazy! I've found some RSS feeds for various agency meetings, but they all have like 20 word titles which make them useless because I can't tell which is which in my reader. Someone help them!

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Oh my Maude the city website is pissing me off! I'm trying to find some information and I'm totally going crazy! I've found some RSS feeds for various agency meetings, but they all have like 20 word titles which make them useless because I can't tell which is which in my reader. Someone help them!

Hi. Those titles are driven by a database query that concats the name of the org holding the meeting and other contextual data. Two things:

1.) You feed reader should allow you rename the feeds to suit your needs.

2.) Suggest an alternative title for, say, "Past Meetings for Providence Zoning Board of Review" that allows the user to differentiate between "Past" and "Upcoming" meetings and includes the name of the organization holding the meeting. I'd be happy to try to tweak the query to shorten the title.

thx

Jim

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The feeds are really convoluted. I'm not a tech genius, but I know a thing or two and I'm totally lost trying to get anything out of the feeds that is remotely useful. I have the mayor's press releases and the arts calendar, but trying to get information about meetings such as Downcity Design Review or Zoning or what-have-you, is trying. I've got the "Feed-of-Feeds" (http://www.providenceri.com/rss/public.rss) which basically lists every meeting on every topic in the city, but I don't need to know when every meeting on every topic is, and it just lists the event, no date, no location, no agenda... I need to click the headline and read the PDF, which basically defeats the purpose of a feed.

And trying to navigate the city's website to find events and notices outside of the using a feed is extremely trying. The navigation does not make sense. It seems like there are all these departments with hidden pages that don't link to each other, and every department has a different style to their page (generally bad), so there's no continuity in finding similar information in similar areas of different departments' pages.

It could be worse though, it could be Pawtucket's website.

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The mayor just walked by my office. I should run out and give him a piece of my mind about the website (and snow removal).

(PS: His car's parked illegally)

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The feeds are really convoluted. I'm not a tech genius, but I know a thing or two and I'm totally lost trying to get anything out of the feeds that is remotely useful. . . .snip

two things:

1.) have you looked at http://www.state.ri.us/etowncrier/ this is the site from which Providence is getting their feeds and may provide an alternative interface to finding the data you are looking for.

2.) Could you give me some ideas on what you consider "remotely useful" feeds? It would be very helpful to the folks who are making the data available if they knew what people are looking for w/r/t feeds.

Thanks!

jim

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The next Providence Geek Dinner has just been announced here.

Hope to see you there! (And please RSVP in the comments if you're coming--thanks.)

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2.) Could you give me some ideas on what you consider "remotely useful" feeds? It would be very helpful to the folks who are making the data available if they knew what people are looking for w/r/t feeds.

Seperate feeds for each department with meetings listing dates, times, locations, and a minimal amount of agenda information.

Just having a better listing of feeds would help, such as what Boston.com has.

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Seperate feeds for each department with meetings listing dates, times, locations, and a minimal amount of agenda information.

Just having a better listing of feeds would help, such as what Boston.com has.

hmmm. did you try this page: http://tinyurl.com/hjd5a ?

From there you can get a listing of all the departments that fall under the City of Providence. From there you can get feeds listing the dates and times of upcoming meetings for each of those departments. The agenda contains the location and other agenda info. I believe that the database schema also allows for input of location by the open meeting filers, if it does, it would be possible to include some location-related information in the description tag. Let me know if the above URL helps. The feedback is hugely appreciated.

I looked at the boston.com RSS feed listing and it might be possible for Providence (or other muni websites) to arrange their feeds in such a manner. However, with somewhere in the ballpark of several thousand possible feeds to list, I'm not sure how well such a display model would scale for the state website. Any suggestions would be welcomed.

I'd be curious to see if there is any interest in using the web services interface to open meetings data provided by the state to script additions of meetings to online calendars like eventful.com or upcoming.org. If there is, I'd be happy to provide some guidance on the web services to do so.

thx

Jim

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That looks more like what I'm after. I don't know if I'm supposed to be able to navigate to there from the city's website, but I never found it. The stuff on the Sec. of State's website seems like it's well on it's way to being a useful resource, but most people wouldn't think to go to the Sec. of State's website to get information on city events, I sure wouldn't and didn't.

The Boston.com feeds are divided by topic, sports, A&E, News, Editorial/Op-Ed... This is actually the first page of their feeds section. From here it splits into other pages to grab specific feeds.

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