Nice Declan McManus reference there
That is all
The shiny new police crime-mapping system popped up yesterday – and promptly fell back down again. This is the long-awaited interactive mapping system, launched this week, and designed to allow individuals to compare crime figures across England and Wales. In practice, widescale public interest in the site has been its …
Is it just me, or does this happen to every single interesting website ever released? I think a reasonable assumption these days for a website that has a reasonable chance of being popular, is take your estimate for how much traffic you're going to get, and triple it, at least for the release date. A product should never be so good that it doesn't work, that's not a great business model.
This goes doubly so for taxes, if you give people the power to file online, you'd better believe every person in the country with a computer is going to file on the due date.
I'm sure the Police will have speed camera's all over the site to try and cut down the amount of crashes.
User seen coming in with a 20mb Broadband, obviously a Pirate. 3 Points and a letter from the RIAA/FACT and who ever else we are working for now.
Guess which company's software and infrastructure they use? Little clue: that company recently lost a lot of personal info of Sidekick users in US.
MS is trying to get into intertubes, but their infrastructure is badly inadequate. I tried to use Bing Maps (Virtual Earth and whatever past names it had). It is terribly slow to load. Couldn't they go with Google as Met did? At least it works as Google has enough bandwidth and processing power to cope with it.
Pork barrel, golf courses and stuff...
They always make the mistake of launching these sites with a fanfare of publicity which means the site will get more hits in it's first day than it will in a normal year. So the techies have probably sized everthing quite sensibly for normal traffic, but then the press office make sure the site will get hammered on day one.
Anyway don't LA's publish this stuff anyway? So shouldn't this just be a simple aggregator? www.comparethecrimefigures.com? Simples.
Whilst I'm a firm hater of the government and it's pathetic approach to IT, in this instance, I'm going to put my fairness hat on and say, it's a reasonable failure.
And to any seasoned IT professional, what I'm about to say is common sense.
When a new website containing information of national interest to the country, and the same happened to the flood maps site a few years ago, I would imagine hundreds of thousands of users or greater, try to access the site simulataneously. Such peak load immediately after the national publicity such a site receives on the national news and wherever else, this load is going to be exceptionally high and not representative of the load during 'normal' use.
So, to support that extremely high demand, the providers will have to enough comms bandwidth, enough database server bandwidth to support it, and it's not good business sense - to have all the extra hardware and software licenses, and development costs just to cope with the peak demand when the website is announced to the public en masse.
"You go by PEAK traffic estimates, not AVERAGE traffic estimates... simples."
So lets say this site gets 50 times as much traffic day one as it would any other day*. Would you be happy for your tax pennies to be spent over speccing the system by that amount? Of course you wouldn't. In fact you'd probably complain if there was a story about some new government website having the hardware over specced to cope with day one demand.
* Believe me, having worked on stuff like this that's a conservative estimate, people read about it, think "that sounds interesting", click the link and then never visit it again. Worse still it's amazing how much traffic to these sites is internal. Every member of staff gets the press release by email and hits the link to see what it's all about. "Ooooh, let's look up my postcode." Pissflaps!
"... showing a part of a map, accompanied by a series of "cannot connect to mysql" warning messages ..."
A message like this should NEVER appear at the user's browser. It indicates a complete lack of understanding of the need to segregate backend processes from the public interface. Sadly, it's an almost universal error, but I think we have a right to expect a much higher standard from the developers of a police system.
I was rather surprised to find that where I lived was average for all types of crime so I checked how they define "average". There are 5 groups an area can be in ranging from high-crime to low-crime. The "average" band contains 68% of different areas while the high crime band contains only the top 2% of areas.
Really I should have known better and not wasted my time entering the URL for the web site.
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