Leadership course at MIT, July 2014

Fixing links at astronomical level

2019-09-10 17:00
Fixing links at astronomical level

Improving the web content quality of the world’s most productive astronomical observatory

BYE BYE 404 team is committed to improve web content quality of the most prominent astronomical observatory on earth. Everyday, web content analysts and software developers devote their passion and professionalism to ensure the continuous and accurate operation of the broken link tool.

The European Southern Observatory (ESO) develops and operates the most advanced ground-based telescopes in the world. In recent years, ESO has been instrumental in the achievement of scientific breakthroughs, including: First Image of a Black HolePlanet Found in Habitable Zone Around Nearest StarAccelerating UniverseStars orbiting the Milky Way black hole, among others. Besides the most advanced telescopes, ESO manages a significant number of high-traffic websites where the public can find general information, press releasesannouncements and superb image & video galleries.

Curating web content is a never ending task. According to computer scientists Gomes and Silva [1], hyperlinks have a half-life of 2 years. In other words, 50% of external hyperlinks [2] will be dead after 2 years. This fact is a significant issue for large website administrators. Leaving uncurated content on the web might result in the loss of institutional credibility.

BYE BYE 404 is a broken link tool that addresses this problem by successfully combining cutting-edge technologiesa devops cultureadvanced information retrieval techniques, and the most passionate team.

Working at BYE BYE 404 is an opportunity to apply previously acquired knowledge, learn about new topics as well as develop the ability to work together with all team members.” explains Paula Velasquez content analyst at BYE BYE 404.

Working at BYE BYE 404 has allowed me to interact with new tools that enrich my knowledge and lead me to fall more and more in love with software development, I also strengthen my teamwork, communication skills. I like to think that my contributions to this project help its growth.” says Cristian Amado fullstack developer at BYE BYE 404.

We have been using BYE BYE 404 with great success on our various websites. Thanks to its smart capabilities, it saves us precious time and makes the arduous process of fixing broken links manageable and more practical, helping us to maintain the quality of the web content we provide to the general public.” indicates Raquel Shida Head of Web Team at ESO Department of Communication, in Germany.

In the era of big dataartificial intelligence and multi-messenger astronomy, web administrators can expect two things for sure: a content flood and the link decay due to the ephemeral nature of link rot process. The good news is people at BYE BYE 404 thrills to make your website a better place!


[1] Gomes, D., & Silva, M. J. (2006, July). Modelling information persistence on the web. In Proceedings of the 6th international conference on Web engineering (pp. 193-200). ACM.

[2] External hyperlinks include links pointing to both external domains and subdomains managed by other authority.


More information

BYE BYE 404 is a web application that detects and fixes broken links. In addition, it suggests how to fix them based on advanced information retrieval techniques. Each month, BYE BYE 404 keeps millions of pages free of broken links.


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