I've nearly finished developing AlbertaMonitor. It's a service that sends clients emails when their keywords are mentioned in Hansard, new bills or regulations (the Alberta version of OntarioMonitor.ca).

Now the waiting part. Scrapers can break for a variety of reasons so I'll need to wait a while before I can start getting people to try out the service. The Alberta Legislature will re-open at the end of October and I'll have a chance to test out the scraping/parsing services.

One of the major challenges (solved this week) was how to convert the PDFs of bills into HTML that can be searched and emailed. The key was using a Java application to parse the PDF and then feeding the resulting HTML back to the PHP code.

The service is so far approximately 2050 lines of PHP, CSS and HTML. I'm pretty happy with how concise it is (mostly). Lots of improved features/algorithms (as compared to OntarioMonitor).

If you're interested in trying out the beta you're welcome to sign up now.