Chris Lowis by Chris Lowis

Week 430

With James and I on leave for some of the week and the Good Friday bank holiday, Week 430 was a shorter than usual working week. We mainly continued working on the Manuals Publisher project for our client GDS.


We spent a couple of days squashing a long-standing bug in Manuals Publisher. The bug had manifested itself on the updates page for The Highway Code which was showing updates to the guidance that hadn’t actually happened. We tracked down the bug to a problem with how publication log entries are created when the published date of a Manual is changed through the user interface.

Once we’d established what was causing the bug we were able to recreate the incorrect data in our development environment. We then wrote a data migration to fix the data in production. A pre-existing script in the repository allowed us to republish the manual and fix the issue. We converted the script to a Rake task so that it could be run on various environments using Jenkins. This means there is a record of the script having been run.

It was good to get to the bottom of the issue and to see our fix having an impact on a public-facing part of GOV.UK. Tracking down the root cause of the bug also seemed much easier thanks to the refactoring work that had gone before. This has given us renewed confidence that we’re on the right track.


We hosted our monthly Show and Tell on Wednesday which was particularly well-attended.

After a brief retrospective of the week on Thursday we headed off for a weekend of chocolate-eating.

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