So in case you aren't in Toronto, we had a little bit of a power outage. Downtown, power went out about quarter to 5, though it didn't affect my work's building. But then when we got back home and I was watching Jeopardy!, the power went out in our area too. And it was out for about 1.75 hours, which I think is the longest (local) blackout I've experienced in Canada (barring the day-long one in 2003).
Now I'm sure you remember that previous post about power outages I made. The problem, of course, was that the Hydro One site didn't cover Toronto. Well, things have changed. Toronto Hydro now has a site for power outages.
Of course, there's a different problem now. It's totally broken. Or is it? I could access it with IE7 (which we're stuck with at work), but then it didn't work in Firefox at home. For me, that's basically broken. Had I not tried it at work, I would have dismissed it as useless.
And then you go a little further through the source... and what's this? The map data for outages is inlined in the webpage? That explains why it goes and refreshes the entire page every once in a while. You wouldn't do that with proper AJAX.
Technical reasons aside, is it any good? Well, after seeing the HydroOne site, I wouldn't say so. It'd be nice to see the border of Toronto Hydro's jurisdiction, but that's kind of minor. Really though, it's just a map with some patterns on it, which tells you whether it's a big or small problem, but not much else. It says the "start of the outage", but not when it was fixed, or even if it was fixed. Unlike the HydroOne site, there's no indication whether repair crews have been dispatched, or whether the cause is known. Even better would be an estimate of how long it might be till the problem's fixed, though the HydroOne site doesn't seem to have that either. (I'm a bit jaded from the horrible code.)
Someone needs to go hit them on the head with some real Web 2.0 design, and then maybe think about what someone might want to know when the power goes out.