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Subject: The need for partial document support.

Hi Monica, Fabio, et al,
One of the projects I am working on is a system for the US House of Representatives Law Revision Counsel. They are the organization responsible for "codifying" the US Code. Currently, the US Code is only partially complete (The project started in 1946 and currently 33 out of 51 titles are codified - it's a very big project indeed). The enclosed document, kindly provided by Robert Sukol at the HLRC, describes the problem they face. Due to the enormity of the document(s) they work on, the fact a number of attorneys work on the document simultaneously, and the fact that the document (even if we define "titles" to be documents) can take years to be consolidated into it's initial state, the system we design for them must support editing and managing document fragments rather than full documents. The fragment might be just a section or a heading, all its supporting notes, and lots of metadata. The workflow around even just a single section becomes incredibly complex as all the related legislation is found and merged into the section - necessitating record keeping regarding statutes that must be amended or repealed once the consolidated title is adopted.
In California we did face a similar, but far less complex, issue. Code "compilation" in California is relatively straight forward - largely because the codification process was completed decades ago and the amendment process is now more routine and more easily automated. In California, instead of having one giant code, we have 29 smaller codes. This would make the problem more manageable except that one of the codes, the Government Code, is larger than all the other codes combined. It is so large that even just a Table of Contents turned out to be an unmanageable document in an editor. So, like the US Code, we had to devise a way to edit and validate document fragments instead of the whole document.
My question is this: How should this type of problem be handled with Akoma Ntoso as the underlying schema model? Can the existing model be used or is some adaptation necessary?

-- Grant
Grant Vergottini
Xcential Group, LLC.
email: grant.vergottini@xcential.com
phone: 858.361.6738

Attachment: Impracticality of Whole-Document Processing for the United States Code.docx
Description: application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.wordprocessingml.document

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