This app was created by Sharon Machlis, who also runs the District 2 Framingham , Framingham Mayoral Campaign Donations and Framingham Covid-19 sites. I created it after being frustrated trying to find meeting information on the city website's meeting portal .
The app uses the R programming language's pdftools library to generate text from the PDFs. Additional City Council background material is available for separate download and is not included in this site.
The search box in the left navigation columns in this app's Search Agendas & Minutes tab searches through full text of all agenda and minutes PDFs that I've downloaded for City Council, Planning Board, ZBA, Board of License Commissioners, and Board of Health meetings starting in January 2021. The City Council Orders tab search works mostly the same, for available orders starting the same time that are available online .
When you enter a search term, the app seeks exact matches and is not a Google-like search. For example, if you search for 'finance committee', it will NOT show a match if a document only contains the phrase 'finance subcommittee'.
However, if you're familiar with so-called 'regular expression' searching, you can use that syntax in your search, including the | pipe character for OR. So, if you are looking for documents that contain either Saxonville or Nobscot, you can search for Saxonville|Nobscot .
More regular expression syntax: a dot (.) means any character, a dot followed by an asterisk (.*) means zero or more of any character, and a ? after a symbol means 'zero or one of them. finance s?u?committee will match either finance committee or finance subcommittee, because s? means 'zero or one s' and u? means 'zero or one u'.
There is a second search bar above the table of results . That one does not search through full text, but only through text that appears in the table.