Trip has been running since 1997. It started off as a really basic ‘garden shed’ site and soon after, when we get some funding, we had the site written by a commercial web-company. That must be nearly twenty years ago. Since then the site has changed massively with new bits of code added left, right and centre. Even though the site works really well the underlying code is messy, has lots of redundancy and some of it is written in very old code (~20 years).

As we’re getting bigger we’re adding new developer capacity and it is increasingly obvious that we need to rewrite the code – almost from scratch – as it’ll allow the new developers to hit the ground running as opposed to a very steep learning curve of trying to figure out the code and then learn how to use some ancient coding languages.

This is a massive undertaking and we estimate it’ll take 6 months to get a prototype up and running.  Apart from the cost the advantages will be numerous:

  • We’ll be using all the latest web-technologies
  • It’ll help future-proof Trip (well, as much as possible)
  • I’ll be able to squeeze in some new features
  • We should be able to save some money on things like our email system, server costs etc
  • I’m hoping we can get a redesign of the site as well.

As mentioned it’ll be six months to a prototype and it may not be that the new site doesn’t go live till 2021 – but it should be worth it.

In the interim we will continue to roll out changes to Trip, for instance we’re working on integrating LibKey and separately working on incorporating MeSH in to our search system.

Short term pain (for us, users will not notice) but long term gain for all.