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January 09, 2009


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I would love to know how the whole "lawmaking" process actually works. As a programmer, I've become intrigued as people have recently told me that lawmakers don't use version control software, which every business I've ever worked in has considered it absolutely essential for any type of rational work-flow.

The question which comes to mind is "if they aren't using a VCS (Version control system), what do they use?" visions of typewriters and hand-written notes in margins flit to mind easily, but the truth is I really don't know, and I'd assume that anyone who professionally edits documents of any sort would of course use some sort of software which supports at least rudimentary history (a long-term "undo" button) and collaboration features.

Where can I find out more about how the mundane physical process of writing things down and making revisions is done today?

Paul Flynn

Thanks Rich.

We may have to wait for a new Speaker before serious reforms take place. The nonsense that preceded the use of blackberries was reminiscent of the years of objections to radio and television being introduced to the Chamber.

The publication by Orange is mostly comments by half a dozen MPs who are technology-wise. We are meeting soon to plan some progress.


"[Bills] could be edited on a screen visible to all."

Hopefully they'll start to use version control, so that it's clear who changed what and when, and that history is kept forever and made visible to the general public.


It need not cost much either. The author of Linux has written one of the leading version control systems, amusingly called "git", which is open source, free for all to use, and incorporates strong encryption so that all revisions are permanently unalterable.


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