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Ask HN: What kind of tools does Congress use to author 1,000+ page bills?
4 points by jonknee on July 16, 2009 | hide | past | web | favorite | 7 comments
Reading through the new 1,018 page healthcare bill got me wondering... What kind of document authoring tool do our lawmakers use to generate these massive bills? Seems like they have to be written in parallel by lots of unnamed lawyers which would make it quite a task to get the final draft together.

Anyone have experience here?

It probably doesn't matter how they're produced, since they're not designed to be read--no one can possibly read large bills like these in time for a vote.

This is one of the major faults of our current legislative scheme: massive bills that no one reads, but into which everyone throws his favorite pork.

It's a total disaster.

Perhaps reading out bills aloud before they are voted on would help? (Not that law-makers would pay attention, but it would at least slow down the flood of legislative text.)

Interns. Lots and lots of interns.

Reminds me of the professor who admits that his favorite programming language is `Ph.D. student'.

The PDF I have was generated by Acrobat Distiller and looks like the source was an XML file... Wondering how they create that XML file.


Maybe with some Markov chains thrown in for good measure.

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