THE DEVELOPERS behind a popular independent website that allowed users to track Oireachtas debates on any matter of their choosing have launched a fundraising campaign hoping to build a new edition of the website.
KildareStreet.com, which had over 570,000 unique visitors in the year to September, was rendered redundant by changes to Oireachtas IT systems aimed at cutting back on spending in Leinster House.
The changes – which saw transcripts of all Oireachtas business moved from debates.oireachtas.ie to a separate microsite, oireachtasdebates.oireachtas.ie – resulted in the loss of XML functionality, which KildareStreet.com used to build its own site.
Administrators are now looking to rebuild the website so that it can ‘scrape’ data from the new website, without the need to rely on any XML feeds produced by the Oireachtas authorities themselves.
This, in turn, would mean the site could add to its own database of debates sooner after those debates happen, as the transcripts of parliamentary business are uploaded to the new Oireachtas site quicker than they had previously been.
It would also, in theory, allow the site to extend its facilities – including the possible publication of a TDs’ voting records, which are built into the Oireachtas transcripts.
The new system will require several weeks of work to build and finalise, however.
The two-week campaign, which launched this morning, had reaped donations of €559 by the time of publication.
The website was founded in 2009 and has operated thus far based on €5,800 raised from donors at that time. It does not receive government funding.