This month, we’ve been looking closely at speeding up the website and making it quicker. One of the things that held us back was having to include support for Internet Explorer 11. We’re now a few weeks past the end of Internet Explorer, so we’re able to take a bold approach with upgrading components in the site.
We’ve updated the code that powers the maps – making it quicker to display the initial state of a map, and simplifying the code that runs on your browser. At the server end, we’ve done similar and partially re-written one of our processes to run with less memory and fewer lines of code.
Such a major change isn’t without risks, and we’ll be keeping a close eye on the site over the coming days, especially as there were some unforeseen problems rolling out the new code, which resulted in maps not loading correctly. Sorry for the downtime.
We’ve also updated the map page itself. The categories we’ve listed maps under in the past have grown, and we’ve re-categorised them so they’re now more logically sorted by Network Rail Route and Region. For example, in the Southern Region, there are three routes – Kent, Sussex and Wessex, with the maps for that region listed. We will be making further changes to map categorisation in the coming weeks, and your feedback is appreciated if anything looks wrong.
Matching between trains on a map and schedule data has also been improved. It still has difficulties in some circumstances, and we’re working on making it even better.
We’ll be taking a little bit of a break for August, as most of you are, but we’ll be back in early September with new and updated maps.