12 февраля 2010

И еще впечатлений о data.gov.uk - не все так гладко

However, it is very hard to define it as a “data portal” when it is little more than a file search engine. Let me elaborate for you. If you search on their website for tax you will be presented with a few results which all point to a page relating to tax. Lets take the example of Child and Working Tax Credit (CTC) and (WTC) and children in out of work household geographical analysis for Local Authorities.

On this page you will find a download link which will take you to a HM Revenue and Customs download page. It lists multiple Excel and PDF files for you to choose from. Please have a look at a this spreadsheet.

That’s not a data set, that’s a complete mess. And for developers that is horrid to work with.

To work on these data sets for development is just a nightmare. There is also a considerable data-integrity problem with these data sets. Let’s say a developer uses this data set on a website. The data set will grow old and the developer will have to keep on consistently downloading a new version of the data every couple of months. Furthermore, some developers could exploit the data and claim they’ve used an “official” data-set but in fact they’ve modified a few values as and when they see fit.

I would only define this as a data portal if the website actually collated the data and transformed the datasets into structured hierarchical data and offered a web service which returned JSON or XML data. Once the datasets were updated, your web-site calling the web service would return up-to-date information. This is clean, concise and dynamic and would reduce any exploitation of the data.

Whilst I agree with transparency and having the governments information freely available to the public, I really don’t think this website does anything more than provide a search service which returns a bunch of links to other government websites which host files relevant to the information you wanted.

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What to do?

you have site designed in a dark theme, saying dark background, white font.
By default google toolbar autocomplete cracks html for inputs or selects containg "email" "name" "address" and other buzzwords and changes background to yellow. As a result when visitor fills form, he enters text as white on yellow and can not easy validate his input
What to do?



item http://www.voronenko.com/2010/02/datagovuk.html