Coming Soon: v1.0.4

We wanted to update everyone on where we are with fixing various issues in both data and software reported by a number of our users.

April 13, 2010
Mike Tierney

Editor's Note: AidData will be documenting fixes and changes to our data and software. We'd like this to be a collaborative process between our staff and our users. Please let us know in the comments or via email if there are things you'd like us to include in subsequent versions of the website.

It's been nearly two weeks since we made the beta version of AidData publicly available. We wanted to update everyone on where we are with fixing various issues in both data and software reported by a number of our users. For those of you not interested in the details feel free to stop reading. Data geeks, glad you're still with us.

A quick note on versioning: Version 1.0.0 was an internal release tested by AidData staff. Version 1.0.1 was the first public release of the website. In the last few weeks we've quietly released two versions of the website, 1.0.2 and the current version 1.0.3. Below we outline what we fixed between 1.0.1 and 1.0.3 followed by details on what to expect in version 1.0.4. Minor changes and bug fixes are 1.0.X releases. When we add major new functionalities to the site, we'll release a Version 1.X.

Changes and Fixes in versions 1.0.1-1.0.3Since launching on March 24, we've made a number of improvements:

  • Fixed: Search form contained years 1900-1946 even though we have no data from those years. These years were removed.
  • Fixed: Search results were returned in no particular order. Now records are sorted from newest (2009) to oldest (1945) by default.
  • Fixed: Some records with missing year information displayed inaccurate years. Missing years were replaced with 9999.
  • Fixed: In some cases, error report emails were not being sent by the server. We found and fixed the source of the problem.
  • Fixed: In some cases, exporting search results failed. We addressed this issue, but several issues with export remain to be fixed in 1.0.4.
  • Fixed: On search result page, the reset button was not working. It now clears the search parameters of the whole form. Think of it as a "new search" button.
  • Changed: Search groupings now report the number of items selected out of the total number of items in that group.

Changes and Fixes planned for 1.0.4Our developers have been working hard on the next release of, version 1.0.4. Based on your feedback, we're hoping to include the following in 1.0.4:

  • Fix: Error in our publishing service results in duplicate records on the public site in a small number of cases.
  • Fix: In Internet Explorer 8, attempting to sort search results resulted in a JavaScript error.
  • Fix: Clicking the edit button on an arbitrary search parameter tab in the search results page took user to donor tab.
  • Fix: In certain cases, record counts in exported files don't match those of the search results used to generate them.
  • Fix: AidData purpose code is not currently being exported correctly.
  • Fix: Some fields are misnamed or duplicated on export form.
  • Fix: Sort by amount algorithm is slow and needs to be optimized for performance.
  • Fix: In certain cases, attempting to switch view between nominal and constant dollars fails.
  • Add: Added some code to allow search engines to index all of our single project view records.
  • Add: Allow users to filter search results by amount.
  • Change: Changed page titles to to be more descriptive.
  • Change: Put all records lacking commitment year information at the end of search results.

We'll have a post later this week from on our longer term plans for adding new features to the website. For now, we remain busy. As evidence, take a look at the visualization below that shows our development activity for the last 3 months. Our two main developers Sebas and Ariel did all the heavy lifting on developing the public interface and delivered a great product. The dots represent files that are changed or added to the website and the distance between the developers' orbits is based on the number of similar files being edited by each person:

This visualization was created using software built by the codeswarm project.

Michael Tierney is the George and Mary Hylton Professor of Government and International Relations at the College of William & Mary and Co-Director of the Global Research Institute.