Blog posts by Harry Metcalfe

  • Innovation in Government:

    I was at the UKGovWebBarcamp last weekend, and among the talks I attended was one by the Directgov Innovate team. This team has been recently formed, and is a really good development. In their own words: Directgov have created the developer network to inform the greater developer community about available resources, to provide a […]

  • ConsultationXML: getting reusable data out of horrid PDFs

    Over the last few months, we’ve been working with Steph Gray of the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills on making consultation documents easier to reuse. DIUS are doing some fantastic things with consultations. Typically, a formal consultation is a pretty tedious process: a department will write up a big PDF document, print it, send […]

  • Automatic emails: “Please don’t reply”

    If you’re a business, you should make it easy for your customers to get in touch with you. Sometimes, you’ll want to send customers an email automatically: “Your order is on its way” is the canonical example. These emails may be automatic, but there’s no reason why they have be engineered to prevent people from […]

  • DCSF Statistical Releases, the BBC and Better Data Formats

    Simon Dickson picks up an interesting story from the BBC’s Editors’ blog about official releases of statistics. Usually, when the Department of Children, Schools & Families releases new statistics, they’re given to the media in advance. The media need this lead time to be able to format all their articles and tables and make sure […]

  • Crime Maps

    Maps to display levels of crime, nationwide, were promised by the Government last year. It’s great to see that they’ve finally launched. This is a step in the right direction. Unfortunately, it’s only a small one. Some forces have collaborated, but most have their own maps — which seems very strange. Why not a central […]

  • DFID Procurement Opportunities

    One of the things that I mentioned in our last post was the lack of RSS feeds for various parts of the DFID’s new website. Today, someone else picked up the same point in a Twitter update. This is just the kind of thing we like to do, so we knocked up a script to […]