LawTop Tweaked

Just a quick note to say that I’ve tweaked the Pipes filtering that produces Canadian law-related stories for LawTop.

I found a way around the problem that many city newspapers used the city name, with the result that a simple filter couldn’t distinguish between stories about Winnipeg and stories that were simply reported in the Winnipeg Free Press. As well, a number of news sources use the dateline “Canada” when reporting about foreign event, which meant that too many stories from abroad were passing through the filter. The trick turned out to be regular expressions, that peculiar code that allows for sophisticated searching within text. It allowed me to put source names and datelines to one side before running the filters that seek Canadian content, and then to add them back in later as required, once the appropriate stories have been chosen.

As of this moment I’m pleased to say that every one of the stories in LawTop50, for example, is about Canada and has some connection with law. Of course, you’ll still see the occasional piece about someone whose surname is Law or about an event taking place in Ontario California, but for the mostpart things should work to provide relevant, national and local stories.

Please let me know if you have suggestions for improvements or refinements.

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