Today is the sort of muggy, hot day, which makes you believe that old story. The one about the British having an empire because of the bad weather. They could actually concentrate, plot and do under the clouds, rather than just dozing in a field, lazing in the sun. How true it is I’m not sure, but it definitely seems quiet everywhere today. I’ve got fewer emails than ever, and I’m still amazed I’ve managed to think all day at all.
I’m leaving PledgeBank behind for a bit, as most of the obvious bugs are fixed, and features added. Earlier this week, and at the end of last, I put in local email alerts. Now if you sign up to local alerts you’ll get mailed at most once a day when a new pledge is made within 25km of you. PledgeBank really is having a proper beta test, with about 100,000 visitors since launch a month ago. This has been fantastic, the feedback has made it a very stable and hopefully more usable site. Good software is software which is used lots, with a virtuous feedback loop from users into making it better.
So this morning I went back to WriteToThem. We still haven’t updated county councils after the elections. So I’ve been writing some three way merging code, to import changed council data from GovEval. It is merging, rather than just loading, because we’ve also altered the data. This was to make the ward names match up consistently with those from our mapping data.
Things are working pretty well for councils where neither GovEval or us have added or deleted any representatives. There are unique identifiers, and very few clashes. Only one throughout all the data which has been caused by one of us editing the ward name, the other editing the councillor name, and so the repersentative really being neither.
The hard case is additions and deletions. Obviously, I’d like to keep our work of mySociety additions. But this is no use, as eventually one day they’ll be wrong. The councillor we thought should be there no longer will be. So how do I detect when?