RealTimeTrains website

Discussion in 'Allocations, Diagrams & Timetables' started by Nagora, 16 Aug 2019.

  1. Statto

    Statto Established Member

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    I quite like the new set up, it's a lot easier on the eye, only grip is the search function is now on the top left left, i prefered the old style set up when it was at the top centre.
     
  2. Adam Williams

    Adam Williams Member

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    You've implicitly focussed on confidentiality and neglected the consider the other two-thirds of the CIA triad. These are integrity and availability respectively.

    Deploying HSTS and TLS everywhere helps to prevent users against active MitMs who might rewrite content, serve malware, inject ads, prevent access or redirect the user elsewhere. Does this happen? Yes, I think you'd be quite surprised by the number of CSP violations you end up seeing reported with a sufficiently strict policy on a popular site. We see this kind of behaviour happen quite often at Warwick, mostly the injection of 'offers' by international network operators, adware or other unwanted external content which then triggers a CSP report. Luckily we're now at a stage where most public-facing content is properly TLS'd, but there are still malicious browser extensions to deal with.

    Every site in 2019 should be properly secured regardless of what it's used for.
     
  3. ainsworth74

    ainsworth74 Forum Staff Staff Member Global Moderator

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    One thing I wonder if you could consider tweaking @Tom is having delays go red immediately? Right now (and on the old RTT for that matter) if you say +1 or +2 it would stay in black but I've always found it more useful if as soon as there's a delay it shows that number in red.
     
  4. Statto

    Statto Established Member

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    Like they do on Traksy site, when the train is more than 5 minutes late
     
  5. TT-ONR-NRN

    TT-ONR-NRN On Moderation

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    I’m going to be very honest and say that the update has greatly put me off using the website. I relied on it more than any other site on the web, but it seems to me the new website is sooo purely focused on aesthetics that it’s actually become rather complicated and when you need quick information urgently, it’s harder to obtain.

    The old site was amazing - simple yet effective and I shall miss it greatly. The new one is very nice and it’s clear a huge amount of work has gone into it - but why fix what isn’t broken :(
     
  6. Peter Mugridge

    Peter Mugridge Established Member

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    Having now used the new look on my mobile, as promised here is my feedback: No real problems at all.
     
  7. Tom

    Tom Member

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    First of all, some testing is being done with respect to the delay column in response to feedback. 'RT' does not really work visually in terms of ± delays, and as I've said the ± isn't going anywhere, so there's an experimental 'dot' to act as a visual reference of 'on time & reported' locations.

    I found this post actually an interestingly compelling read. I will do some further investigations in rushing this along.

    ...maybe, although I think a delay of a few minutes, and likewise early, is too negligible for colouring. If there was a compelling reason for it then it's something that could be considered.

    Entertainingly, aesthetics have absolutely nothing to do with it. Indeed, I'm a backend developer by trade and literally couldn't give a toss about making things nice and fancy. I like to make things that are functionally useful. So, here's some backstory:

    I had a brand developed for RTT in 2016/2017 for some future plans. It's taken me until 2019 to launch a site with it - there's been some experimentation with it over the last few years though, Swanage Diesel Gala 2017/2018/2019, GBRf 2018...

    With some experimentation I could have done a lot more to change the site, but I elected not to. There's a lot of potential to manipulate the detailed pages a bit more to something very different, but I chose not to. A common request was improved accessibility to the site - not just for those using screen readers but also those who don't have as good sight as the rest of us. The ethos was 'evolutionary not revolutionary' and I stuck to that as closely as is possible.

    In fact, the list of "more than very minor" changes are as follows and the reasoning for them:
    • Home - now has a large top masthead and menu items collapsed on the right rather than sticking with the existing layout. The grey line showing feedback/apps/news is altered. Reasoning: I wanted to show off the new brand.
    • Simple mode location line up - now has a menu showing on every page. Reasoning: the user experience on those pages was frankly horrific.
    • Simple mode train - the delays now show as ± rather than On time/1 early/1 late. Reasoning: more in line with railways on the continent and the rollout of international versions of RTT being planned. Reduced maintenance burden.
    • Detailed mode location line up...
      • menu defaults to the left and collapses upwards and is reordered. Reasoning: that menu, once you learnt how to use it was fine. Before then, it was an incredibly complicated affair really. Date was positioned under location, the 'what time' box was two columns to the right in order to activate its use. That doesn't really make any sense.
      • On desktops on less wide windows when the menu has collapsed to the top, it has a toggle filter to hide some options. Reasoning: the search menu is enormous if you don't. There's probably some options of reducing the size and making all options permanently visible on say wider than 800px but, overall, 1200px is a fairly reasonable value to be at according to my analytics.
      • No changes to the content on train lineup display on mobile or desktop other than the whole row now being a link
      • Passing trains, fewer fields are in italics. Reasoning: not all fields needed to be really to still be visually obvious.
    • Detailed mode trains...
      • The data panel has similar behaviour to the search menu on screens wider than 1200px. On screens smaller than that, it looks the same as before. Reasoning: makes better use of space, gives space for new features on the way.
      • Changes in how the metadata is put out. Reasoning: it makes it clearer as to what is what, and gives more space for new features on the way, again.
      • Location info wise, ± delays are covered and need not be discussed again - it's not changing, deal with it, etc etc.
      • Train listings were designed to be near identical to the previous version when viewed on desktop browsers, the only change is for allowances to be listed under location names. Reasoning: gives more vertical space for some other things planned at the cost of barely any horizontal space.
      • On mobile, the initial design was a harsh change and frankly pretty awful. It's now been reworked substantially, and I think that needs some more work but it's a good improvement - at the cost of using 2 lines instead of 1 per location. Reasoning: 3-4 times a week I'd get a message asking for more detail on mobile devices on those pages.
    It was broken (just read the bit about updating code on the blog here https://blog.realtimetrains.com/2019/09/physically-moving-realtime-trains-part-2/), I did fix it and kept it as close to what it was before while redecorating and making slight incremental changes.

    This community is highly fickle and notoriously doesn't like change. I speak to people who provide goods and services in this space a fair amount and I don't think I know anyone who has ever disagreed with it. Time has to move on. The old website looked as old as it was - just over 6 years old - although frankly its origins start from around 9 years ago with the site then known as Timetables or more commonly as rail staging.

    It is extremely hard to make a sharp change such as the one made on Friday and receive positive feedback. I was surprised how few negative comments I actually received (apart from about ± delays as I expected them, and they are just funny now - you'll all get used to it), which ultimately vindicates the strategy I took with the site. As you can see from the above list, the overall list of 'more than very minor changes' is essentially less than 15 things. Other than a substantial redecoration, from a user aspect the the site is functionally unchanged. A few things have moved, I think that's the extent of the changes from a user interaction perspective. Nothing has been removed.

    Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, and I think that in that respect I've done my job well here. Other than @louis97 who helps out on a voluntary basis with train describer and mileage related items, the site is all on me. It is ultimately my livelihood at stake whenever I make a change like this, and I don't take the move lightly as it's a huge risk financially.
     
  8. arb

    arb Member

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    Also Firefox 69.0.3, but on Windows 10. It is a fancy dandy laptop with touchscreen and rotating the view for portrait/landscape mode, but I never enable the "Tablet mode" in Windows despite its continuing insistence that I should try it. The display is much wider than 1200 pixels.

    After much debugging locally, I've found the problem is triggered by the FoxClocks plugin https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/foxclocks/. Disable this, and RealTimeTrains renders fine. Enable it, and I get the mobile view. The plugin doesn't affect the rendering of any other site that I visit, and didn't affect the old version of RealTimeTrains a few days ago. I'd be curious to know if anybody else feels like installing the plugin and seeing if it affects them?
     
  9. takno

    takno Established Member

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    Much as I prefer E and L and always struggle to figure out +/- on foreign sites, I would say one of the most common questions I get on Traksy is "what do the E, L and OT" things mean. As far as I can tell neither option is even remotely obvious to most users, and most people just ignore the bits they don't understand, often forever
     
  10. spark001uk

    spark001uk Established Member

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    Well done with the tweaks Tom, location and train views both look spot-on now. Re-heading the times in train view has restored a more tabular look, and stacking arr/dep times vertically has afforded you more space horizontally, which I see has enabled the gbtt column to appear now in mobile portrait view, which is a handy addition (it's good to be reminded of it at times, especially if it differs from wtt, before one approaches a member of staff to complain of early departure (yes I've done it!!)).
    Mind you, before now I would just rotate to landscape to see gbtt column, which was fine, so I wouldn't be worried if it went back that way if the horizontal space is needed for something else in future.
    As a footnote, the +/- change - absolutely fine with me.

    Again appreciate all your dogged determination and hard work here, and for listening to the audience.
     
  11. trainmania100

    trainmania100 Established Member

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    I think tom could do with a nice long getaway break before Christmas xD
     
  12. spark001uk

    spark001uk Established Member

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    Maybe he could catch the North Pole International santa express. ;)
     
  13. DarloRich

    DarloRich Veteran Member

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    @Tom My issue seems to be fixed.
     
  14. Strat-tastic

    Strat-tastic Member

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    Apart from a few Es and Ls.

    *ducks for cover* ;)
     
  15. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Actually talking of something removed...can we have 0000-2359 back as an option for the time range? It's the one I use to look at a whole day's service. I know you can do it manually but it was easier to select from the list :)
     
  16. spark001uk

    spark001uk Established Member

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    It's still there in the drop-down, it's just called "all day" now.
     
  17. D6700

    D6700 Member

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    Personally, I find the dots that have now appeared are much more intuitive than the dashes. Dashes read more like "no report" on first glance.

    The biggest frustration for me, which doesn't appear to have changed, is the requirement for a train to stop at a location when using the from/to options. I often wish to view a list of all trains running over a line of route in a specific direction. This is impossible in RTT, as far as I am aware.
     
  18. theironroad

    theironroad Established Member

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    I noticed the small dash/dot in lieu of the old RT yesterday and as it's been made clear that RT won't be coming back, I think havjng some indication that the train was reported at that location is better than nothing. A blank space especially at the start or end of the journey could be confused with the train having been turned around mid journey as often happens in disruption and not actually have been at the blank station.

    Looking just now I notice that the 'dot' for RT has been enlarged which is a good improvement.

    On the detailed view I see that the route/path info and also platform number has been moved from the right side and that is a massive improvement to making it look less cluttered on the right.

    Going forward, in terms of performance times, my suggestion would be :

    On time - green (maybe dark green) dot.
    Late - all in red even 1 minute
    Early - blue (or other colour) - even 1 minute


    I think the tweaks Tom has made since launch on Friday have been good and it's looking a lot clearer in detailed view on my android mobile .

    One other question I have but think it might not be possible is , do TOCs/NR release booked stock formation in terms of length , for example data that could be portrayed in the drop down detailed info section to differentiate between say a 4 car and 12 car etc according to the daily plan.
     
  19. greatkingrat

    greatkingrat Established Member

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    I don't think showing every train that is 1 minute late as red would be particularly useful - at many stations almost every train would be red and that would make it harder to spot when there is more serious disruption.
     
  20. 66Yorks

    66Yorks Member

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    Tom the website for me is amazing. I for one love the revamped graphics, workings etc. It took a bit of a while to get used to it but now can find my way round with ease.

    Having read the forum some have suggested positive feedback / suggestions which I'm sure will be taken on board at a later date. This is a good thing as website developers may have missed something that to you and I is obvious.

    If you have nothing positive to say simply use another website.

    Finally well done Tom on what you have done. I for one are greatly appreciative of what you have and are doing.
     
  21. greatkingrat

    greatkingrat Established Member

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    Another question, at the moment it is not possible to filter by previous or subsequent calling points for trains more than 24 hours in the past. Is there any likelihood of this changing at some point in the future? Even just changing it to 48 hours would be useful, as then you could at least run filters on the whole of "yesterday", rather than the current situation where the first half of the day is unfiltered and the second half is filtered.
     
  22. malc-c

    malc-c Member

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    RTT.png

    One thing I've just found that I'm not that happy with is printing a hard copy from the browser (Chrome). The first half of the page is taken up with the heading and other info, with the line spacing such that even a listing from Kings Cross to Royston now gets printed over two pages. Previously the twice as many lines fitted on the page
     
  23. gnolife

    gnolife Established Member

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    One thing that i have a problem with, is that for simple view on my mobile, it cuts out the time column, which I'd argue is the one column that under no circumstances should it be trying to not show Screenshot_20191023-173018_Chrome.jpg
     
  24. Adam Williams

    Adam Williams Member

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    Thanks, glad you found it useful! I suspect you may know NickB/MohitG (small world, eh) who could hopefully vouch that I'm not talking rubbish, too :P

    FWIW, I like the new UI. I need to read some of the blog posts on the technical infrastructure at some point too, since they look interesting.
     
  25. aal7

    aal7 Member

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    I noticed that if you type "York" into the Location, Previously or Subsequently box in Detailed search, you get a lot of options, none of which is York. To get York to show you have to type "YRK". This is on Chrome on a Windows 10 PC.
     
  26. krus_aragon

    krus_aragon Established Member

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    I see the same behaviour on Firefox 70 under Linux.

    In simple mode, York station is displayed as the fifth option of five when "york" is typed into the search field. In detailed mode, it's bumped off the list by York Siemens TransSystems.
     
  27. Mag_seven

    Mag_seven Established Member

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    I prefer "0000-2359" to "all day". Also what is the point of the "0200-0159" and "0600-2000" time range options? They just seem to be arbitrary time ranges to me.
     
  28. greatkingrat

    greatkingrat Established Member

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    Trains that leave just after midnight are normally considered to be part of the service for the previous day. So 0000-2359 will often miss out the last trains (or show them at the beginning), while 0200-0159 will catch them.
     
  29. DavidGrain

    DavidGrain Member

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    0200-0159 is considered to be the operating day. Franchises change at 2.00 am on transfer day
     
  30. D6700

    D6700 Member

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    I've also noticed this and, whilst mildly irritating, I do find that typing York in the location box and ignoring the drop down list does work when you submit your enquiry.

    The only way I can see to bring up a full list of the many York locations is to force a deliberate "typing error", such as "York." Interestingly, that full list doesn't include the irrelevant locations like "Bentley (South Yorkshire)", that are suggested in the drop down list!
     

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