Chris Roos by Chris Roos

Week 369

Smart Answers

This was my first week back working on Smart Answers.

James and I used Google Hangouts to discuss what we were working on. It was good to speak in person for the first time since 2015!

In our email conversations, Dai had explained that improving the Marriage Abroad Smart Answer was one of their top priorities. It currently takes up about 80% of available developer time each month! I decided to get stuck in and slowly start refactoring it into a better shape.

While working on Marriage Abroad, I noticed that JavaScript graph visualisation of Smart Answers was broken. I raised a bug for it and James spent some time investigating. James determined that the problem was caused by the removal of SVGGraphicsElement.getTransformToElement from Chrome, which caused our version of jointjs to break. Although there’s a fix in jointjs, it appears to rely on a newer version of jQuery than is currently available on GOV.UK, meaning that it’s not a simple case of upgrading. We’re trying to work out how important this functionality is to help decide whether we should try to fix it or whether we can get away with removing it.

James also spent quite a while reviewing open Pull Requests.

IR35 tax assurances

After making some of Egos Consulting’s suggested tweaks to our Working Practice Questionnaire we sent it to our contacts at GDS to ask them to sign. Assuming they’re happy to sign, we should then be able to send it to the GDS Contracting Team.

Upstart Unicorn Launcher

James Kassemi opened a pull request against our upstart-unicorn-launcher project back in December. We haven’t touched the project since Tom W wrote it back in June 2013 and probably haven’t used it since then either. After checking whether Tom was interested in taking the project, we offered it to James. He accepted and is now the owner. Good luck, James!

Until next time.

– Chris

If you have any feedback on this article, please get in touch!

Historical comments can be found here.