API Thoughts

Our medium to long term plans for Public Whip are to introduce an API (Application Programming Interface: if you don’t recognise the term, you can just gloss over this whole post) to help third parties integrate with Public Whip – without having to “screen scrap” the content. An example of a service currently utilising the content is “Keep track of how your MP votes” Boxee application.

Things we’d like to know:

  • What format of data would you prefer the data: CSV, TSV, XML, JSON, SQL, other?
  • How would you prefer to access it: SOAP, REST, HTTP GET, HTTP POST, data download (we do currently offer this!), other?
  • How often would you like to refresh the data: weekly, daily, hourly, “as live as possible”?
  • What sort of information would you like to be able to access?
  • Would you prefer, in the first instance, “documents” or “code” integration guides?
  • Would this be for a commercial or “open source/free access” project
  • What sort of volume of requests would you expect to push to us? (And would it be possible to introduce caching/proxying your end)
  • Would you like to “push” data to us? If so, what sort (comments, policy division revisions, etc etc)
  • Anything else you think relevant 🙂

Basically, we’d just like to hear from you how you would like to use the data. At the moment, we’re not going to make any guarantees about anything, but if we can get ideas from YOU then we may be able to start making plans…