Dallas Municipal Court Docket

I worked at the City of Dallas Municipal Court for a while as a Coordinator III. During my time there my primary role was SQL programming and queries. I was also in charge of updating our internal website and creating a digital sign for our docket. We toured other municipal courts, companies like Fast Signs, and even the Dallas Love Field Airport to study the operation of data retrieval and output. After seeing all the different systems I knew that it would be easy to create our own versus buying a turnkey system which was thousands of dollars.

The court is legally required to publish the docket each day. Each day the docket size will vary tremendously. We had to analyze how many people were on the docket each day and how many TVs we would need to relay the information. We devised a plan that would consist of four Samsung HD tvs to use as the digital signs and four media players to roll the data using custom written software.

The docket is created daily and is exported to a CSV and saved in a folder on the network. I would create a HTML page and retrieve this data and style it appropriate to the court. I used Adobe Illustrator to recreate the City's logo and the court's logo. Once they were created I used them on the heading of the digital sign. I created a HTML5 page and linked the header image to it with CSS3. In the same HTML page I used a JavaScript to convert the data from the CSV to div tags. Once the data was in separate divs, I was able to use CSS3 to style them with light and dark blue colors to make it more legible. I also used another JavaScript to roll the data vertically across the screen. I styled the divisions with CSS3. Once the script was written and working on my computer, it was time to start testing on media centers.

I was provided with a Raspberry Pi for testing as the media center. I learned quickly how to operate and build the OS for the Raspberry Pi. Unfortunately, after testing with it for several days, I determined that the animation was too much for the little computer and that we would have to have a media center that had a little more processing power. I tested the software with a few media centers but ended up going with some old Dell laptops. The script was loaded onto the computer and it was setup for remote desktop. When they were ready, they were mounted behind the TVs and connected via SVGA.


Dallas Municipal Court Docket


Testing the Dallas Municipal Court docket on Raspberry Pi


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