Guides to using The State Decoded, whether deploying a site or using the data from one.

View the Project on GitHub statedecoded/documentation


An introduction to The State Decoded—what it does, why you might want to use it, what you need to get started.


How to get a State Decoded site up and running.


Detailed descriptions of each setting in the configuration file,

XML Format

Description of the The State Decoded's XML format, which the platform uses as a simple, common format to import legal codes. Also, how to convert other XML formats into The State Decoded's format using provided XSLT.

Search Engine

Instructions about how to configure and tune Solr, the search system that powers aspects of The State Decoded, and suggestions about how to use software other than Solr, such as a hosted search system.

How the Parser Works

A narrative description of how the parser works, for those who want to modify it to import legal information in a format other than The State Decoded's XML format.

Customizing The Site

How to customize the appearance of a State Decoded website.


How to interact with the API, including getting a key, a list of methods, information on all fields in responds to each method, and handling errors.

Command Line Tool

How to use The State Decoded command line tool to import data, manipulate the database, and perform other common tasks.

Coding Standards

The basic practices and norms employed with The State Decoded's codebase, for those who want to contribute.

Release Process Checklist

A checklist of steps to be taken before releasing a new version of The State Decoded.