18 October 2009
Why you're not getting email alerts.
The lazy, incompetent fools who get paid substantial amounts of your money for not doing the job they're paid for, in respect of publishing the Official Transcript of Dáil proceedings, have now actually surprised us.
They're now not bothering to correct their errors at all, which is a new and unpleasant departure from their previous form, where they'd shove any old rubbish up and then quietly airbrush their failings out of existence in the ensuing day or two.
What do we mean? Almost every single day the Official Report is full of errors, especially ones where they take tables which are embedded in written answers to questions, remove the table title, and then call it a major debate heading and wreck the day's page index.
See for yourself:
- October 8th: Garbage.
- October 13th: Truly Spectacular Garbage.
- October 14th: More Garbage.
- October 15th: Yet More Garbage.
Previously we've either fixed it ourselves (yes - one volunteer is often able to do a better job here than a well-paid company full of people who don't care about your tax money or the quality of their work), or waited until the next day for a fixed version when it's too broken to work with.
However, we're not currently able to fix a lot of this, and the Oireachtas is no longer bothering to correct the errors at all.
Until they do we can't send you your email alerts because (as a famous IT saying goes) Garbage In, Garbage Out. Unlike your national parliament we do our best not to send complete rubbish to thousands of people every day, so the alerts have been suspended all week.
Hopefully someone in Kildare Street will wake up eventually. Until then, please accept our apologies.
Update at 2300: We've managed to manually-correct the past four sitting days, and have sent a bumper batch of email alerts this evening. Additionally, in future our automated systems will simply refuse to accept Written Answers sections from the source material which contain the most-obvious formatting error detailed above. This means that Written Answers will in future take substantially longer to appear at all on days where the printing company responsible for the mistakes can't find their own arses with both hands -- and at the moment that's almost every day.
On the plus side it means that KildareStreet will always be less broken than debates.oireachtas.ie, your "Always Wronger For Longer" government-funded disaster area.
Update, the next day at 2pm: The first two source files above have just been silently corrected.
Update, the next day at 2.30pm: ...and there go the other two. Wouldn't it be nice if we could find a way of making this work without our having to kick you up and down the street in public?
Posted at 18:00:00 | Link to this
14 October 2009
KildareStreet.com is officially Ireland's Best New Web Application after Saturday night's 2009 Realex Irish Web Awards ceremony, held at the Radisson Hotel in Dublin.
We're a little surprised, and absolutely delighted. John Handelaar picked up the metalwork and made a few thank-yous, which we're going to record here for completeness.
- To the 80-odd judges who between them decided we were somehow more deserving than the other great sites and projects in our category,
- To Red Cardinal and RealEx Payments for sponsoring our category and the Irish Web Awards, respectively,
- To Sabrina Dent, who did not realise quite how much time and effort would be going into KildareStreet instead of into earning actual money for the household when she married John and has yet to raise any complaint about becoming the main earner,
- To that small band of people in the Oireachtas who have done their best under what must be rather difficult circumstances and have never been anything but polite to us even when we're publicly annoying the people they pay to produce the Official Report, and
- To the people who help KildareStreet in practical ways but are not publicly acknowledged, even (to John's horror after stepping off stage) when some fool forgets
to mention them while collecting the award:
- Mark Coughlan and Elena Egawhary, who helped compile the canonical list of all political donations to TDs and Senators reported to SIPO which we'll be adding to all TD and Senator pages in the coming weeks,
- Simon McGarr of McGarr Solicitors for unpaid assistance on our imminent incorporation,
- and particularly Gavin Sheridan, who you can thank for literally nagging this site into existence and making sure the development work required for KildareStreet to exist was ever actually finished.
As hinted above, we have a To-Do list as long as several arms here and you can expect to see a great deal more information about your elected representatives appearing on these pages in the next month or four. Onwards and upwards!
Posted at 00:40:00 | Link to this
13 October 2009
We've just made a few alterations to TD and Senator records to reflect changes in party whips, changes in party existences, the extremely-imminent departure of the Ceann Comhairle, and the death of a member of the Seanad.
We've also received a list of spokesperson roles for the Labour Party from its press office (thank you, Shauneen Armstrong) complete with start dates for those roles and will be adding that information to the relevant TDs and Senators tomorrow. If you are in any way connected to Fine Gael and can persuade someone there to furnish us with a similar list, please let us know.
Posted at 23:40:00 | Link to this