Trip Database Blog

Liberating the literature



Oops, we missed a bit

Large sites, such as Trip, are complex and when you create a new design things can be missed and the following is a case in point.

At the top of the image (above) is the advanced search from the old site and below that is the new site.  Apart from the design there is a bit of functionality missing – the ability to combine search (called ‘recent searches’ at the top).  This allowed users to build up fairly complex searches.

We’re now aware of this and hope to get a fix out early next week!


Quality of content

Picture the scene – you’ve gone to Trip and searched for an article to answer your question.  You find a paper that looks interesting and click on the link – and it leads to a dead link.  I appreciate the frustration – I really do.

Websites change URLs for many reasons such as a new design for the site, withdrawing out of date content.  It’s a constant battle for Trip to keep up to date.  Thankfully we have a new and powerful tool to help with the release of a broken link system.  Here’s what it does:

  • It detects that a user has clicked on a link that has led to a ‘dead’ link.
  • After an hour we try the link again (sometimes sites – temporarily go down) and if the link still doesn’t work we remove it from the index and an email is sent to our content team.
  • They can then understand the reasons for the failure and either put in a new link to that single article or instigate an overhaul of all links for that particular site.

While it is not perfect it’s a significant enhancement to the site.

Linked to the notion of quality we have just introduced a new system to grab guidelines from the American  This is a great site and our system broke when they changed their URL from to!  But – from now – the links should work fine.  So, as well as grabbing new guidelines we should automatically remove ‘withdrawn’ guidelines.


TRIP is back!

After what seems like an age (certainly over 24 hours) TRIP is back! The official reason from the web-people is:

“The problem was caused by the number of maximum connections to the database being exceeded. We don’t know why as yet, but are investigating as a matter of urgency.”

Not 100% sure what that means, possibly linked to our increased popularity! Talking of which we’re currently upgrading our servers to double the capacity

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