2018 Week 03

More than 11, it’s 37

Wednesday was dator day 37. Unlike some previous dator days it was not a “punishing hell-ride”. Though some of the prioritisation work was a little improvised. And interruptions came thick and fast. Still, some things were agreed:


Wednesday also saw the third visit of Susan Halford and Mark Weal from the Web Science Institute. They interviewed more people including our Samu and Dan as part of their “Everyday practices of semantic linked data” research. Both Samu and Dan seemed to enjoy it. Emerging from interview, Samu was positively beaming with justified righteousness. Which is always a nice sight.


Massive achievements from Dan as Yammer rewarded him with a very active badge. He’s currently cutting it out and knitting it to his sleeve.

One world, one web, one team

Dan went along to the Digital Service quarterly event which (as the name suggests) is a thing that happens every three months. People from the administrations in both Houses get together with the digital service to see what’s new and exciting about computers. Mat and Liz ran a stall about data, reporting and dashboards and even got some new customers. Dan enjoyed Louise’s talk about blogging and Hansard blogging.

Anya and Michael met with Lucinda, Oli and Chris Watson to talk about the kind of queries the House of Commons Library tends to field about questions and answers. Given the way new search works we need to ensure that the Members’ activity team expose and link to URLs that help answer these queries. Work continues.

Michael and Angela spent some time double checking which bits of Committee data we can take from MNIS and which bits will need a new tool. Chris is now looking at the physical model for this stuff, tweaking the MNIS import and building a new tool.

Anya and Michael also met with Trine and Rachel to chat about the IDMS taxonomy and plans for topic pages. Topics are what some people call concepts. Or occasionally issues.

Shortly after they met with Liz Marley, Samu, Matthieu and Chris to talk through plans for tagging articles with IDMS concepts. Which is what some people call topics. Or occasionally vocabulary terms.

We are, as ever, divided by a common language.

Domain modelling

Dator day resulted in a change of priorities for Anya, Silver and Michael. With a new Statutory Instrument Tracker (TM) on the horizon, SIs and accompanying Early Day Motions have now risen to the surface. And supplementary oral questions and divisions have receded. Our todo list is here. You can quibble with the cards but you can’t move em.

Anya, Silver and Michael spent Tuesday with a whole variety of people from the two Houses starting to dig into SIs. The morning was heavy going, the afternoon more productive. They now have very, very draft sketches for a laying (and withdrawing) model and a statutory instrument model. They’re probably still quite wrong. But it’s better to publish mistakes than hide them. Blowback is always to be expected.

Liz has been working with the House of Commons Library who are looking for a better way to manage and publish constituency statistics. As a change from all things procedural this has piqued Michael’s interest. It’s also a useful route to collaboration with team:Dudfield. So that would be good.

Data platform

Jianhan continued work on our new OData model. He’s removed the old interface and released a new version to fix some request issues. He also presented the work at Tuesday’s show and tell.

The old web search has now been switched off. New web search reigns supreme. Money will be saved.

Excellent customer service award…

…goes to Chris who knocked up a listing of MPs photos for Cristina and Louise in less than an hour. Because we have a data platform and can do things like this now.

There’s a note from Dan to say we did much excellent customer service this week. Total customer service he says. Cruyff-like customer service he suggests. But he doesn’t list the people. So Chris gets the badge.

Did the machines learn owt?

Not a thing. But it’s still their second term of first year. So what do you expect?


Not so much a stroll as a hovercraft ride. Robert took a trip to the Isle of Wight and visited a monastery. Which is much more exciting than the usual walk to the coffee stall.

Things that caught our eye