Bye bye, beta.
If you’re into reading the text of legislation introduced in Congress or wonder where a bill stands or what hurdles it faced to get to where it is, you go to Congress.gov, which launched two years ago but only just became official.
I’ve been linking up a storm to the site in all my stories about legislation, but my links have included the word "beta," which designates the phase of software development when the product is essentially done, but needs testing.
My links will still work, even though Congress.gov has dropped that tentative label.
Andrew Weber of the Law Library of Congress noted in a recent blog post that two years was a pretty good amount of time to be in testing.
“That’s roughly three years quicker than Gmail took to remove its beta label, but we won’t give you the option of putting it back on Congress.gov,” Weber wrote, referring to Google’s goofy decision to allow nerds to keep the beta label on their Gmail.
The post-beta Congress.gov also includes a host of improvements for easier navigation, searching and finding.
You used to be able to get all this information at THOMAS.loc.gov, which had a popular feature called Top Ten on THOMAS that is now the less-catchily titled but still interesting, Most Viewed on Congress.gov.
The DigitalGov.gov team suggests checking out the library’s other responsive sites copyright.gov and LOC.gov as well.