Oz Parliament website up and stumbling
Posted by Dave Bath on 2009-01-12
While the webserver for the Australian Parliament is up again after a significant time off line, the new senate submission system still crashes or gives pathetic response times.
This suggests negligent governance processes by very senior IT managers, and raises questions about all other applications being introduced to parliament, and possibly across the whole of government.
In the meantime, test it yourself by (1) opening the main main inquiry page and then clicking on the "Submissions received" menu item, and/or (2) bypass the main inquiry page and go straight to the submissions.
Please add comments to this post about your observations, especially if you note anything odd.
Over the fold, the diagnostics I’ve got 2 tries out of 5. I’ll publish another post on the implications when I get a chance, but releasing this information now so others can verify my claims of error and significant performance problems.
When you do get the list of submissions to the Disability Discrimination Act amendments, it takes nearly a minute to return less than half a page of information.
A fair percentage of the time, you get the following:
Server Error in '/Submissions' Application. The operation has timed out Description: An unhandled exception occurred during the execution of the current web request. Please review the stack trace for more information about the error and where it originated in the code. Exception Details: System.Net.WebException: The operation has timed out https://senate.aph.gov.au/submissions/comittees/ViewSubmissions.aspx?inquiryid=129 Source Error: An unhandled exception was generated during the execution of the current web request. Information regarding the origin and location of the exception can be identified using the exception stack trace below. Stack Trace: [WebException: The operation has timed out] System.Web.Services.Protocols.WebClientProtocol.GetWebResponse(WebRequest request) +54 System.Web.Services.Protocols.HttpWebClientProtocol.GetWebResponse(WebRequest request) +4 System.Web.Services.Protocols.SoapHttpClientProtocol.Invoke(String methodName, Object parameters) +172 SCIDDocumentUpload.SCIDDocumentUpload.ViewSubmissions(Int32 InquiryId) +63 UploadInterface.ViewSubmissions(Int32 InquiryId) +11 comittees_ViewSubmissions.Page_Load(Object sender, EventArgs e) +218 System.Web.Util.CalliHelper.EventArgFunctionCaller(IntPtr fp, Object o, Object t, EventArgs e) +15 System.Web.Util.CalliEventHandlerDelegateProxy.Callback(Object sender, EventArgs e) +34 System.Web.UI.Control.OnLoad(EventArgs e) +99 System.Web.UI.Control.LoadRecursive() +47 System.Web.UI.Page.ProcessRequestMain(Boolean includeStagesBeforeAsyncPoint, Boolean includeStagesAfterAsyncPoint) +1061 Version Information: Microsoft .NET Framework Version:2.0.50727.832; ASP.NET Version:2.0.50727.832
So there is either a huge flaw in the Microsoft .NET framework (a flawed choice of product), and/or the application was put into production without proper testing, including load testing (hopeless management).
I’m not ruling out testing of Conroy’s censorship testing as a contributing factor, but unfortunately, he might be off the hook (although it is still a dain-bramaged idea).
- "Oz Parliament Website Dead" (2009-01-10) – the initial report of the crash of the entire aph.gov.au domain.
- "Implications of off-line parliamentary webserver (2009-01-11), particularly this section which is my current best guess at the continuing problems.
- "Disability/Human Rights Inquiry Closes Monday" (2009-01-10) which talks about when I first noted a problem.
- "Senate IT Committee System Outage Woes" (2007-05-27) – Something similar, but at least most of aph.gov.au stayed online.
- Main inquiry page at parliament for you to choose the "Submissions received" jump.