KildareStreet news

May 2009

19 May 2009

More useful links now slightly more useful

Every sitting TD just had a link added to the 'More Useful Links' box on the right hand side of our TD info pages. The box was blank until now.

You can now visit the page on ElectionsIreland describing the full electoral results history of every Dáil member. Here's an example page; you can check the link in the right hand column. ElectionsIreland very kindly did the same for us yesterday.

Gavin is currently working on the research required to add Wikipedia biographies, personal and party home pages, and accounts to that list of new links.

This will all be of substantial practical value later to any budding mashup artists, once we reopen the API pages.

Posted at 14:10:00 | Link to this

19 May 2009

A fix appears

I should, in the interests of fairness, mention that email recipients whose addresses end in '' are now actually able to receive all the mail they asked us to send them. We don't know why it was broken or for what exact reason it's now not broken, but the nice people at the relevant IT department are investigating.

Meanwhile, thanks, whatever you did.

-- John Handelaar

Posted at 14:10:00 | Link to this

13 May 2009

Yep, they've done it again

The Oireachtas official report printing company has once again mangled all the written answers from yesterday.

We'll see if they can be bothered to fix it during the evening. If not I'll alter our local copy and run the emails at about 11pm.

They've now blown this three times in eight sitting days - not an impressive way for a recipient of public funds to deliver value, is it?

-- John Handelaar

Posted at 18:30:00 | Link to this

8 May 2009

A quick note about apparent nonsense displaying and delayed email alerts

For reasons I cannot hope to explain, the Oireachtas has a production process for the Official Record which is bound by no formal timeframes, nor any published targets, nor apparently any guarantee that the material produced will be correct within a timeframe useful to anyone but historians.

Today, for the second time in a week, the official data from which we generate this web site has been released on the official website in a severely mangled manner. You can see at the time of writing that yesterday, the adjounment debate apparently contained over three hundred and fifty contributions, there were no written answers to questions, and the phrase "as of 01 May 2009" has been inexplicably promoted to the rank of "major heading".

(Update, Tuesday: The official version was corrected on Monday afternoon. Which is nice, but doesn't really excuse the fact that it was broken for four and a half days.)

I've found the garbage in question and manually changed our own copy of the file. We're rather hoping the sudden appearance of screaming howlers like this (none in five years, then two in a week) is in some way connected to someone going on holiday, rather than an indication of things to come.

In the meantime, I can't run the daily email alerts until 'today' is not bugridden for fear of those alerts containing incorrect links. Those 200-odd people who are signed up to alerts may find that our RSS feeds, which are available for any and every query that alerts can cover, are more 'immediate'.

Thanks for bearing with us.

I'll tell you about how the Oireachtas mail server is blocking all our sign up confirmation emails and email alerts (for no reason) another day. This issue with mail was apparently resolved by Monday, and the very polite and helpful IT staff there have been in touch subsequently, and so it's not fair to leave that line in this post unstruck. We're figuring it out at the moment. -- JH 19-05-09

-- John Handelaar

Posted at 18:30:00 | Link to this