Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Land Registry house price data April 2018

I’ve uploaded the latest Land Registry house price data to my website. I’d read stories of annual house price falls but the Land Registry data is showing a 3% annual increase. The Land Registry numbers are a few months behind other house price indices so a fall may be on its way in a few months

Monday, May 28, 2018

One month later and TSB online banking is still a disaster

One month ago TSB tried to migrate their customers to a new online banking platform. Things didn’t go particularly well and although the media have lost interest in the problems, as a TSB customer and IT geek I’m still interested in what’s happening and thought I’d touch on a few of the issues.

The most glaring issue is that my mortgage account still doesn’t appear in my list of accounts. I assume I still have a mortgage since the payments are still being taken from my current account but there has been no sighting of it since the ‘upgrade’.

A few days ago, I tried to login, only to see an error message, <div>Sorry, we are currently experiencing technical issues. Please try again later.</div>. Not being able to login isn’t great but not totally unexpected given the recent troubles. Displaying HTML tags in your error messages is a fairly minor issue but suggests a lack of attention to detail that can lead to more serious issues down the road.

Now lets go under the hood by firing up Dev Tools in Chrome. The first error I saw was complaining about Symantec certificates which Chrome will stop supporting in a future release. Let’s hope someone at TSB renews that fairly soon before things break properly.

But the next set of errors are slightly more concerning, WebSocket connection to 'wss://' failed, something on the web page is trying to connect to a server on my local machine! I can only assume this is some kind of debugging code but should definitely not be getting pushed out to their production system.

Next we have a failure to load a locale file for US English, which is odd since I’m set up for UK English. Again, nothing serious but shows a lack of attention to detail.

Finally, let’s run the page through Lighthouse, the Chrome web page checker. The performance score is a mighty 18 out of 100. This seems mostly due to Javascript and CSS that isn’t bundled together and isn’t being loaded using async or defer, meaning everything has to load before the page can be displayed.

And that’s what I found spending a few minutes on the TSB website, who knows what could be found if I was an evil hacker wanting to steal some money

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Converting KML file to shapefiles

For a long time I’ve been searching for some code that I can use on my website to convert the various KML postcode files that are available. Since many of these files are generated on the fly, I didn’t want to use a one off convertor. But I’ve always failed to find anything that will do the job. Since I don’t know the internals of shapefiles, it’s not something I wanted to write myself.

So I’ve kind of given up, but if you need to convert any of the KML files yourself, then this tool may be useful. From my admittedly not very thorough testing, it seems to do a good job of the conversion

Thursday, May 03, 2018

Land Registry house price data March 2018

I’ve uploaded the latest property data for England and Wales from the Land Registry to my website. Annual house price inflation has been slowly creeping up and now stands at 3%. Sales data is harder to get a handle on since it can take months for all the sales data to come through but it looks like sale may be dropping off a little.