Intermittent outage

Sorry if you’ve been unable to access the site over the last 48 hours – there was a problem with one of the DNS servers that handles which was directing people at an old server for the site. It’s fixed now.

In case you want the details – the primary nameserver for has been upgraded and reinstalled, but the BIND configuration I put back was a copy from several months ago before I migrated from Amazon to Rackspace. The serial number on the zone was lower than that on the secondary servers for the domain, so none of the secondaries picked it up. It’s a case of luck as to which server you get sent to, so there was roughly a 1-in-5 chance of picking up the server with rogue information.

Backups are good, but restoring the right one is even better!

Open Data

What a lot has happened in the last three months since the last post.

Network Rail, working with Rockshore, have opened up some of their information systems. This is the same data that I started working with a year ago – except it’s now open to everyone. I met with Network Rail shortly before the platform was released (along with a group of other developers) and made suggestions for several, more detailed sets of information to be opened up, and I have more on my list for the next meeting in September.

To help the developer community, I’ve started the Open Rail Data Wiki, and it’s a busy little thing already. OpenTrainTimes is getting a design overhaul and these real-time feeds integrated, which is a massive job to do properly – but ‘properly’ is what I want to do.

Finally, two other items of great interest are that Network Rail have also released the Working Timetable and Sectional Appendices, both available on their transparency page. I’m still hiding freight trains from OpenTrainTimes, and still pestering Network Rail to make a decision on whether or not these are shown.