while it is interesting to think about what it would take to implement the stimulus feed architecture in a more useful way, it is also interesting to think about where to actually find these feeds once agencies start publishing them. the guidelines require agencies to also send email updates to
firstname.lastname@example.org, so they probably count on emails as the information flow. but where do stimulus mashup builders go to find the stimulus feeds?
we thought about this problem a while ago, when we thought about the general problem of how to get subscriptions out of and into feed readers in an interoperable way. we came up with the concept of managing feeds using feeds (which is mostly about using AtomPub for feed management) as part of the evolving atom ladscape of specifications.
in both cases, the idea is that a collection of feeds (in that case the collection of feeds publishing data on stimulus spending) can be viewed as a feed itself, allowing people, for example, to subscribe to a feed where they can see whenever a new stimulus feed is published by some agency. this
feed feed would be the ideal starting point for any exploration of the evolving set of stimulus feeds, and while i am not so sure whether it will be actually published as a feed (i hope it will, anybody interested in some community effort around this?), i certainly hope that somebody somewhere somehow will keep track of all those feeds.
currently, the guidelines make no provision whatsoever how such a feed has to be advertised or registered, so in theory it is possible that agencies publish feeds that nobody knows about, because nobody know the feeds' URIs.
once we have a stimulus feed feed, we can start using that for all kinds of activities around managing these feeds, for example tagging them, maybe validating them, and more generally subscribing to them and using their entries to actually track the stimulus spending. but wait, they do not actually contain the data, they just make public that new data has been made available somewhere...
btw, the guidelines say
a feed can point to a file, but what exactly does that mean? using
html:a? and once i know how the linking works, i am still curious about the format of those templates non-government people can not get to...