The "handiwork" according to Jimmy Leach of The Independent in a Sky News interview, cost "just under 100 grand", which is pretty incredible considering its still only in "beta". In fact it should not have even gone live in such a state frankly, it sends a message that the highest office in the land is a quick bodge job.
What I found more amusing was the comment over on Puffbox by Jon Worth (builder of Harriet Harman's site which got totally owned) saying
Good work! Pity about the glitches today, but that’s normal… All the usual whingers are having a go at it (Dizzy, Guido) but it’s ace that the Number 10 site has been built with open source software.No Jon. Glitches like the ones that occurred are not "normal" in professional live operational project, that's why you have QA, so that you're only bugs are functional ones that are not considered stopper to a project.
This is particularly the case for a site that will receive traffic on the scale of the Downing Street website. Ever heard of performance testing? That's not a "whinge" its a professional opinion of an Ops sysadmin that maintains full scale enterprise scale web servers and J2EE application servers.
Your attitude Jon is actually the typical "dev" attitude. That's the "ooooh look isn't it pretty, let's not worry about whether it can handle the pressure, or if it's full of holes and really silly coding mistakes". Let's take for example the "feeds" on the site, go adn have a look at them, all the links point to RFC1918 addresses, specifically 10.10.0.215.
Besides the fact that it means it won't work for anyone other than someone on that restricted network. It also, potentially, leaks out information about the set-up of the Government Secure Intranet (GSI), assuming that the address is an internally bound interface on the box. It could of course just be the IP of the development host, either way it's a universally stupid mistake should not have got past QA.
Given the fact that the site has been problematic, and has pretty basic coding mistakes pointing Internet users to non-routable addresses, it seems pretty clear that operational QA has been non-existent. That is not how a professional £100,000 project should work. It's pretty obvious it's launch was driven by politics, and the so-called "fightback" rather than sensible release management processes.
As I said above, the "glitches" are not "normal" when you're spending that sort of money. Frankly, if I was one of the admins behind this I would be thoroughly embarrassed of being associated with it. Of course, I'm assuming that there actual admins behind it and not just devs hacking their way through and making stupid mistakes (more likely).
Hat Tip: Mike Rouse for the cost.