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The Nerd Blog

Useful Code Snippets

At ProPublica we sometimes share small, simple snippets of using GitHub "Gists."

Untangling a Web of FEC Data

Our Tangled Web graphic shows the 200 biggest recipients of expenditure money from the five major presidential campaigns (Gingrich, Obama, Paul, Romney and Santorum), as well as from major super PACs, from around the middle of 2011 through February, 2012.

Introducing StateFace

Today we released a font that you can use to include small state map shapes as a design element in a web application. It’s called StateFace.

Some Thoughts on Timelines

Three different approaches to presenting stories over time.

Announcing Simpler Tiles

Today, we're releasing Ruby bindings for Simple Tiles, so you can generate tiles from Ruby.

When Are 190 Emails Like Six Emails?

Showing You the Money (Faster)

We pitched in on some new features in the New York Times' Campaign Finance API and its Ruby wrapper, CampaignCash.

Anatomy of a Stepper Graphic

A small library for stepper graphics.

SOPA Opera Update: Opposition Surges

SOPA Blackout Day led to a surge in opposition among members of Congress.

SOPA Opera: Which Legislators Support SOPA and PIPA?

In the next few weeks, among the most talked-about legislation will be the Stop Online Piracy Act — commonly referred to as SOPA — which, if passed, would give the Attorney General the authority to block access to foreign websites deemed to be dedicated to copyright infringement.

Announcing the ProPublica News Apps Fellowship

The ProPublica News Apps desk is looking for a smart, technically-savvy journalist to join our team for a pilot project we’re calling a News Applications Fellowship.

Adaptive Design, Fixed Widths and Tablets

If you're trying to make your fixed-width site adaptive, there are some things you need to know about the viewport tag.

How We Made ProPublica.org Look Better on Your Smartphone

In order to make our site more welcoming for the increasing number of you who read us on your smartphones, we've redesigned and re-engineered the site so that people on small screens will automatically see a version of the site optimized to fit them.

Introducing DocDiver

Today we’re launching a new feature that lets readers work alongside ProPublica reporters—and each other—to identify key bits of information in documents, and to share what they’ve found. We call it DocDiver.

Facebook for News Apps: How We Harnessed the Social Network for ‘The Opportunity Gap’

Embracing 'behavior design'—coupled with our preference for keeping our apps light on database writes—spurred us to integrate Facebook for our news app in a deeper way than we’ve done before.

TimelineSetter: Easy Timelines From Spreadsheets, Now Open to All

Last week we announced TimelineSetter, our new tool for creating beautiful interactive HTML timelines. Today, after a short private beta with some of our fellow news application developers, we’re opening the code to everyone.

TimelineSetter: A New Way to Display Timelines on the Web

As far as we know, there are no good open source frameworks that web developers can use to generate timelines quickly without losing design flexibility. So we made our own.

D

A series of programming and technical guides on how we collected data for Dollars for Docs.

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