Saturday, August 30, 2014

UK property sales data for July 2014

The latest Land Registry data for property sales is now uploaded to my site. Not much can be read into a single month’s figures, but the average sale price has reached an all time high, which I guess pleases a government seeking re-election soon and probably dismays first time buyers.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

UK Postcodes August 2014

I have uploaded the ONS postcode dataset for August 2014 to Hopefully everything is in order, let me know if you spot any issues.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Friday, July 25, 2014

Setting HttpResponse.StatusDescription silently failing

We recently received a complaint from one of our customers. We provide some fairly simple reporting functionality, that allows more technical users to write their own SQL queries. The customer was building a report and when there was a problem with his SQL, sometimes he’d get a detailed error message, but other times he’d get nothing.

When we try to execute a query and an exception is thrown we catch the exception and write the error message to HttpResponse.StatusDescription so it can be displayed in the browser. This can fail if the message is longer than 512 characters long, but this is fairly obvious since setting the StatusDescription property will throw an exception. That clearly wasn’t the problem here.

I finally managed to reproduce the problem but was still confused about what was causing the issue. Then I spotted the difference between the working case and the non-working case. The non-working case contained new line characters. Thinking about it, this was fairly obviously going to be a problem. The HTTP response would not be valid, since the status description header would be split over two lines. But it would certainly be preferable if .NET threw an exception in this case, rather than just silently failing to set the status description.

So our code now looks something like this

        context.Response.StatusCode = 500;
        context.Response.TrySkipIisCustomErrors = true;
        string description = ex.Message.Replace('\n', ' ').Replace('\r', ' ');
        if (description.Length > 512)
          description = description.Substring(0, 512);

        context.Response.StatusDescription = description;
        context.Response.ContentType = "text/plain";
        context.Response.Write("An error occurred - " + ex.Message);

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Land Registry May 2014 data

I’ve uploaded the Land Registry data for May 2014 to For all the talk of a house price bubble, the Land Registry data (arguably the most accurate of all the house price indices) doesn’t seem to show much movement at all over the last few months. Of course it’s a different story in London. There was a story about the housing insanity in Hackney a few months ago, and looking at the sales in East London does show prices shooting up over the last year.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

ONS postcode data for May 2014 uploaded to

I’ve just uploaded the latest postcode data from the ONS to my site. There are over 2.5 million postcodes in there, alive and dead. My data checks suggest everything is in order, but let me know if you find a problem.