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Analog 6.0: Frequently asked questions


This list is divided into six sections:
  1. Getting Started
  2. Basic Configuration
  3. Understanding the Output
  4. Advanced Usage
  5. Form Interface
  6. Design Decisions

List of Questions

  1. Getting Started
    See also Starting to use analog.
    1. Analog doesn't have a setup.exe.
    2. Analog just flashes up a DOS window and then quits.
    3. When I try and edit analog.cfg, Windows asks me which program I want to use to open that file.
    4. When I try and compile analog, it gives me an error (e.g. on SunOS 5).
    5. Analog didn't write the logfile when I ran it.
    6. Analog won't read extended logfiles generated by IIS.
      or What does "time without date" mean?
    7. What does "Logfile with ambiguous dates" mean?
    8. I tried to analyse a logfile, but I just got "Large number of corrupt lines."
    9. Analog won't read logfiles bigger than 2GB.
    10. What does this error message mean?
    11. I tried to run analog from my browser, but it didn't work.

  2. Basic Configuration
    1. I want to analyse several logfiles together.
    2. I want to make several different statistics pages. Do I have to install several copies of analog?
    3. My analog.cfg included lots of CONFIGFILE commands, but only one output page was produced.
    4. Why does the Daily Report only show the last six weeks?
    5. Why do the time reports all list 0 requests?
      or Why are there no bar charts in the time reports?
    6. How do I get the Request Report to list files with fewer than 20 requests?
    7. How do I ignore accesses from my site?
    8. How do I ignore internal referrers in the Referrer Report?
    9. How do I get information on just my pages, not everybody's?
    10. How do I list subdirectories not just top-level directories in the Directory Report?
    11. How do I list minor browser versions in the Browser Summary?
    12. I want to see the full hostnames in the Organisation Report.
    13. I used the command "DIREXCLUDE /mydir/", but files in that directory were still listed.
    14. I used the command "FILEEXCLUDE /cgi-bin/script.pl", but that file was still listed in the Request Report.
    15. I used the command "IMAGEDIR C:\analog\images\", but I only got broken images.
    16. I want to put several output pages in the same directory, but the pie charts overwrite each other.
    17. I want a configuration file with all of the possible configuration commands in it.
    18. I want to see your configuration file.
    19. Does the order of the commands matter in the configuration file?
    20. Why are my browser and referrer reports empty?
    21. Why isn't the Referrer Report sorted properly?
    22. I want to list (or not to list) referrers with their search arguments in the Referrer Report.
    23. Why are my click-thru's (or CGI scripts) not listed in the Request Report?
    24. I can't find /script.pl?q=1 in the Request Report.
    25. Why can't I have P in the REQCOLS, REQSORTBY or REQFLOOR?
    26. Can I find out which files each referrer pointed to?
      or Can I find out which files each host has read?
      or Can I find out which hosts have read each file?
      or Can I find out the number of hosts visiting on each day?
      or lots of similar questions.
    27. Can SETTINGS ON produce a configuration file instead of an English list of settings?
    28. I get the message "logfiles overlap" even though the two logfiles contain completely separate requests.
    29. Can I count the individual visitors, or visits, to my site?
      or Can I see how long visitors spend on my site?
    30. Can I change the way dates are formatted in the output?
      or Can I change some of the phrases in the output?
    31. How can I change the background colour of my output?
      or How can I make the output prettier?

  3. Understanding the Output
    See also What the results mean.
    1. How do I find out the number of hits from your data?
    2. Why are there so many referrers from my own site?
    3. The analysis covers exactly a week, but the figures for the last seven days don't agree with the totals.
    4. I only have 240 requests in total. Why does analog think there are 840 requests per week?
    5. The pie charts don't agree with the figures in the tables.
    6. Why doesn't analog agree with the counter on my page?
    7. Why doesn't analog agree with grepping the logfile?
    8. Why doesn't analog agree with my other logfile analysis program?
    9. Why do I only get "unresolved numerical addresses" in the Domain Report?
    10. Why are directories listed in the Request Report?
    11. When someone reads one of my PDF files, it scores dozens of hits.
    12. Kilobytes should be 1000 bytes, not 1024 bytes.
    13. The Organisation Report doesn't identify organisations correctly.
    14. "Organization" isn't spelled correctly.

  4. Advanced Usage
    1. How can I do such-and-such with a command line option?
    2. I want a list of all command line arguments.
    3. How do I list all numerical subdomains to depth 2 in the Domain Report?
    4. I want to be able to count requests with status code 301 and 302 as successes, so that they appear in the Request Report.
    5. I want to report on a field analog doesn't know about.
    6. Can analog analyse Squid proxy logfiles?
    7. Can analog analyse FTP logfiles?
      or Can analog analyse streaming media logfiles?
    8. Can analog analyse other logfiles, such as mail logs, or the syslog?
    9. How can I run analog automatically every day?
    10. How can I automatically email the results to myself or someone else?
    11. I'm setting up IIS. Which logfile format should I use?
    12. I host lots of virtual domains. How should I set up analog?
    13. Can I make several output pages with just one run of analog?
    14. I ran out of memory when trying to run analog. What can I do?
    15. You're processing 20,000,000 requests in under 10 minutes. Why is mine much slower?
      or Analog appears to stall.
    16. How do I make a link on my page that runs analog?
    17. Do I have to save all my old logfiles?
      or Can analog make statistics from old reports instead of reading the whole logfile again?
    18. Can analog write to a database or spreadsheet?

  5. Form Interface
    See also Form troubleshooting.
    1. I couldn't make the form run.
    2. How can I specify different logfiles from the form interface?
    3. My browser showed me anlgform.pl, rather than running it.
    4. Why does the form interface give "Document Returned no Data"?
    5. The images don't appear when running analog from the form interface.
    6. Why do I get some reports that weren't requested on the form?
    7. How do I make a link to anlgform.pl without using anlgform.html?
    8. Is there a form interface not using Perl (e.g. ASP or .exe)?

  6. Design Decisions
    1. Why doesn't the HEADERFILE replace the whole <head> of the output file?
    2. Why don't you just use one image, and scale it with the width and height attributes?
    3. In the XHTML output, why not just put a class= on each <COL> instead of on each cell?
    4. Why doesn't the OUTFILE command automatically create the directory for the output file?
    5. Why not automatically spot robots by whether they request /robots.txt?
    6. Why not just do DNS resolution of the hosts that actually make it into the Host Report?
    7. Couldn't you do the DNS lookups faster with threads?
    8. Why doesn't analog analyse the error_log?
    9. My server lists local names in the logfile. Can you put a common suffix on them automatically?
    10. Can you extrapolate from the current month's partial data to produce a prediction for the whole month, based on the rate so far?
    11. Can you extend the Domain Report to say which US states people visited from?
    12. Please distinguish between the different BSDs in the Operating System Report.
    13. Why not use language codes instead of country codes for the names of the language files?
    14. Why doesn't analog produce statistics on "visits"?
    15. Why don't you sell analog?

A. Getting Started

Most questions in this category are answered in the section entitled Starting to use analog. If you can't get analog running you should look there.
  1. Analog doesn't have a setup.exe.
    No, and it doesn't need one. It's already ready to run! See Starting to use analog under Windows.
  2. Analog just flashes up a DOS window and then quits.
    This is the correct behaviour. It should have created an output page called Report.html. See Starting to use analog under Windows.
  3. When I try and edit analog.cfg, Windows asks me which program I want to use to open that file.
    Use Notepad, or any other plain text editor.
  4. When I try and compile analog, it gives me an error (e.g. on SunOS 5).
    Maybe you need to edit the Makefile. There are some platform-specific notes in the section Starting to use analog on other platforms, and in the Makefile itself.
  5. Analog didn't write the logfile when I ran it.
    Analog doesn't write the logfiles. Your web server writes the logfiles, and analog just reads them. See Starting to use analog.
  6. Analog won't read extended logfiles generated by IIS.
    or What does "time without date" mean?
    By default, IIS writes the date only at the top of the logfile, not on every line. But it doesn't write a new date if the date changes during the logfile, so analog can't tell which date later entries in the log occurred on. More details, and what to do about it, are in the section on Choosing a logfile.
  7. What does "Logfile with ambiguous dates" mean?
    See the section on Errors and warnings.
  8. I tried to analyse a logfile, but I just got "Large number of corrupt lines."
    There are lots of possible reasons for this. You can find them described in the section on Choosing a logfile.
  9. Analog won't read logfiles bigger than 2GB.
    Analog doesn't have any limitation, but there may be a limitation in your OS and/or compiler. Try adding CFLAGS=-D_FILE_OFFSET_BITS=64 to the Makefile before compiling.
  10. What does this error message mean?
    Again, see the section on Errors and warnings.
  11. I tried to run analog from my browser, but it didn't work.
    Analog should not be run as a CGI program, or even put in the folder with your CGI programs, for security reasons. You should use the special CGI program instead.

B. Basic Configuration

Analog has lots of configuration commands, all of which are in the section on Customising analog. Here are some of the most common questions. If your question isn't answered here, you could also try looking in the index.
  1. I want to analyse several logfiles together.
    Just use several LOGFILE commands, or wildcards in the logfile name.
  2. I want to make several different statistics pages. Do I have to install several copies of analog?
    No. Just install it once, and run it with different configuration files. (You do have to run it once per output page though.)
  3. My analog.cfg included lots of CONFIGFILE commands, but only one output page was produced.
    Analog can only produce one output page per run. To produce several reports, you have to run it several times.
  4. Why does the Daily Report only show the last six weeks?
    This is controlled by the DAYREPROWS command.
  5. Why do the time reports all list 0 requests?
    or Why are there no bar charts in the time reports?
    They probably only list 0 requests for pages. Maybe you need to use PAGEINCLUDE to count more files as pages.
  6. How do I get the Request Report to list files with fewer than 20 requests?
    Use the REQFLOOR command, e.g., REQFLOOR 10r to list down to 10 requests. Also, if you want to list all the files not just pages, you may need to use the command REQINCLUDE *
  7. How do I ignore accesses from my site?
    Use the HOSTEXCLUDE command.
  8. How do I ignore internal referrers in the Referrer Report?
    Use the REFREPEXCLUDE command.
  9. How do I get information on just my pages, not everybody's?
    Use the FILEINCLUDE command.
  10. How do I list subdirectories not just top-level directories in the Directory Report?
    SUBDIR */*
  11. How do I list minor browser versions in the Browser Summary?
    Use SUBBROW */*.* (Note that they then appear in the Browser Summary, not the Browser Report).
  12. I want to see the full hostnames in the Organisation Report.
    The full hostnames are listed in the Host Report.
  13. I used the command "DIREXCLUDE /mydir/", but files in that directory were still listed.
    DIREXCLUDE only affects the Directory Report, not the other reports. You want "FILEEXCLUDE /mydir/*" instead.
  14. I used the command "FILEEXCLUDE /cgi-bin/script.pl", but that file was still listed in the Request Report.
    If the file has search arguments, you have to be a bit careful with FILEEXCLUDE. This is described in the section about search arguments.
  15. I used the command "IMAGEDIR C:\analog\images\", but I only got broken images.
    The IMAGEDIR command has to be a URL, not a directory on your disk. (It's just inserted into the <img> tags in the output: have a look at the output and you'll see.) Also this means that the images have to be put in the part of your filespace that has your web files.
  16. I want to put several output pages in the same directory, but the pie charts overwrite each other.
    You have to set the CHARTDIR and LOCALCHARTDIR to be different for each output. (You can still have all the charts in the same directory if the CHARTDIR and LOCALCHARTDIR don't end with slashes.)
  17. I want a configuration file with all of the possible configuration commands in it.
    One is already distributed with the program, in the examples folder.
  18. I want to see your configuration file.
    This is also included in the examples folder in the distribution.
  19. Does the order of the commands matter in the configuration file?
    Only occasionally. If you have two of one command, the later one will generally override the earlier one. Apart from that, commands can come in any order, except that LOGFORMAT and LOGTIMEOFFSET commands must come before the LOGFILE to which they refer.
  20. Why are my browser and referrer reports empty?
    Maybe your logfile doesn't contain any browser and referrer information?
  21. Why isn't the Referrer Report sorted properly?
    It is sorted properly. But search arguments are also listed under the file they belong to, and this interrupts the ordering. If you set the REFARGSFLOOR high enough you won't see the search arguments. Or you can include the N column to make the ordering more obvious.
  22. I want to list (or not to list) referrers with their search arguments in the Referrer Report.
    To see the search arguments you may need to set the REFARGSFLOOR lower. To avoid seeing them, you could set the REFARGSFLOOR higher, or alternatively use the REFARGSEXCLUDE command to ignore them either for all files or just for particular files.
  23. Why are my click-thru's (or CGI scripts) not listed in the Request Report?
    If they cause a redirection to another page, they will be listed in the Redirection Report, rather than the Request Report.
  24. I can't find /script.pl?q=1 in the Request Report.
    If it causes a redirection, it will be in the Redirection Report not the Request Report. But also, you may need to set the REQARGSFLOOR or REDIRARGSFLOOR lower to actually see it.
  25. Why can't I have P in the REQCOLS, REQSORTBY or REQFLOOR?
    The number of page requests doesn't make sense in the Request Report because it's either the same as the number of requests (if the file is a page) or zero (if it isn't). If you want to list only pages in this report, use REQINCLUDE pages instead.
  26. Can I find out which files each referrer pointed to?
    or Can I find out which files each host has read?
    or Can I find out which hosts have read each file?
    or Can I find out the number of hosts visiting on each day?
    or lots of similar questions.
    There are lots of questions like this. They all want analog to cross-reference two sorts of item (e.g. files and referrers in the first example above, or hosts and dates in the last).
    The solution is to use the *INCLUDE commands. For example, to find out which files a particular referrer pointed to, restrict the analysis to just the referrer you're interested in with the REFINCLUDE command. The Request Report will then just list the files reached from that referrer. Similarly, if you're interested in a particular time period, you can focus on just that time by using the FROM and TO commands.
    You do have to run analog once for each report generated. So for the example of referrers, you would have to run it once for each referrer you're interested in. Of course, it would be useful to be able to cross-refererence all the files and referrers at once. But it is fundamental to analog's speed and minimal memory requirement that it only records statistics for each type of item individually, and doesn't record enough information to cross-reference them afterwards.
  27. Can SETTINGS ON produce a configuration file instead of an English list of settings?
    No. But it does tell you which configuration files it read, so you can just get the commands out of them. Or if you want a list of all configuration commands, there is one in the examples directory.
  28. I get the message "logfiles overlap" even though the two logfiles contain completely separate requests.
    This message is based only on the dates of the files, not the contents. If you're sure there is no problem, you can turn it off with the command WARNINGS -L.
  29. Can I count the individual visitors, or visits, to my site?
    or Can I see how long visitors spend on my site?
    No, it's not technically possible, and don't believe any program which tells you it is. See the section on How the web works for details.
  30. Can I change the way dates are formatted in the output?
    or Can I change some of the phrases in the output?
    Yes, by editing the language file.
  31. How can I change the background colour of my output?
    or How can I make the output prettier?
    You can change almost any aspect of the design using a style sheet. There are also some programs on the helper applications page to make completely different output from the analog data.

C. Understanding the Output

Most of the questions in this category are answered in the section on What the results mean, which I really recommend you read if you want to understand what analog is telling you.
  1. How do I find out the number of hits from your data?
    I don't use the word hits, because people use it in different ways, so it's misleading. I use requests for the number of transfers of any type of file (text, graphics, ...), and page requests for the number of transfers of HTML pages. See the section on Analog's definitions for more information.
  2. Why are there so many referrers from my own site?
    These come from all the internal links on your site, and all the graphics on your pages. See the section on How the web works for more information. If you don't want to see them, you can use REFREPEXCLUDE to exclude them.
  3. The analysis covers exactly a week, but the figures for the last seven days don't agree with the totals.
    The figures in parentheses are for the seven days before the time the program was run, unless there is a TO command. They are never for the seven days before the end of the logfile. (Although if you know that the logfile only contains entries up to a certain time, you may want to include a TO command for that time to get the last seven days' data right.)
  4. I only have 240 requests in total. Why does analog think there are 840 requests per week?
    If you have 240 requests in two days, that's a rate of 840 requests per week. Just like if you drove 28 miles in 20 minutes, you'd have driven at 84 miles per hour.
  5. The pie charts don't agree with the figures in the tables.
    Possibly you are looking at out-of-date images. Make sure to reload the images as well as the text. Also, if you are running analog several times, make sure to use CHARTDIR and LOCALCHARTDIR to stop the images for the different runs overwriting each other.
  6. Why doesn't analog agree with the counter on my page?
    There are lots of possible reasons. Do they both start from the same date? Are you just looking at requests for that one page with analog, not for all your other pages and graphics? Also, analog will record all requests to that page; if it's a graphic, your counter will only measure requests from people on graphical browsers that reached that place on the page.
  7. Why doesn't analog agree with grepping the logfile?
    Have you understood what analog includes in its counts? In particular, most reports only list "successful" requests (HTTP status codes 200-209 & 304). A naïve grep would count failures too.
  8. Why doesn't analog agree with my other logfile analysis program?
    Small differences can be put down to different parsing. But if you are seeing large differences, you have to understand what analog counts, and what the other program counts. For example, some programs count HTTP status codes 301 & 302 as successes, whereas I think that to do so gives extremely misleading results.
  9. Why do I only get "unresolved numerical addresses" in the Domain Report?
    Your server only records the numerical IP address of the hosts that contact you, not their names. Read the section about DNS lookups, or turn DNS resolution on in your server.
  10. Why are directories listed in the Request Report?
    They are not directories, they are pages with the same name as the directory. For example, I have both a directory called /analog/ and a page called /analog/ (which happens to be the same as /analog/index.html).
  11. When someone reads one of my PDF files, it scores dozens of hits.
    PDF reading software often downloads a file in small parts, and each part counts as a separate request. This is unavoidable: analog has no way of knowing how many downloads constituted a single document in the reader's mind. The parts may be pages, or some larger amount, and sometimes the software may download the whole document at once. In addition, the user may only want to read part of the document, and so never download the whole thing. As usual, we can only reliably report how many requests there were at the server, not guess what the user did with the file later.
  12. Kilobytes should be 1000 bytes, not 1024 bytes.
    Personally I think that whatever 1024 bytes should have been called originally, it's stupid to try and change half a century of established usage now. But we don't need to argue about it. Analog's kilobytes are 1024 bytes, but if you prefer to call them kibibytes, you can do so by editing your language file.
  13. The Organisation Report doesn't identify organisations correctly.
    The rules I use are described in the section on The domains file. I admit they aren't perfect, but this is because in domains in which organisations aren't all at the same level in the domain hierarchy, there is no way to identify them perfectly without long lists.
  14. "Organization" isn't spelled correctly.
    Yes it is. If you want American spellings, you have to specify
    LANGUAGE US-ENGLISH
    in your configuration file.

D. Advanced Usage

  1. How can I do such-and-such with a command line option?
    Use the +C option to put any configuration command on the command line.
  2. I want a list of all command line arguments.
    There is a list in the index.
  3. How do I list all numerical subdomains to depth 2 in the Domain Report?
    SUBDOMAIN *.* deliberately only lists the top-level numerical subdomains to avoid cluttering the output. SUBDOMAIN *.*.* will work but will list everything else to depth 3. So the best solution is
    SUBDOMAIN 1*.*,2*.*,3*.*,...
  4. I want to be able to count requests with status code 301 and 302 as successes, so that they appear in the Request Report.
    No, you really don't, because that would lead to double counting when a request for /dir (code 301) is redirected to /dir/ (code 200). For CGI scripts etc. look in the Redirection Report instead of the Request Report.
  5. I want to report on a field analog doesn't know about.
    Use the following kludge. Write a LOGFORMAT to declare the field to be a virtual host or a user (whichever you aren't already using). Then edit your language file so that the right text is output.
  6. Can analog analyse Squid proxy logfiles?
    It can analyse Squid's common log format, although Squid uses some extra HTTP status codes which will be rejected as corrupt by analog. But really you want to know different statistics from a proxy log, such as percentage of requests retrieved from cache, and you might be better to use Squid's native format and a tool specifically designed to analyse it such as Calamaris.
  7. Can analog analyse FTP logfiles?
    or Can analog analyse streaming media logfiles?
    Yes. There are some configuration files in the examples directory giving sample LOGFORMAT commands. If you have a server which isn't covered there, you will have to write your own LOGFORMAT.
  8. Can analog analyse other logfiles, such as mail logs, or the syslog?
    Yes and no. Analog is primarily designed as an HTTP logfile analyser. For mail logs, there is a program on the helper applications page to help you. For other logs, you can get some results out by writing your own LOGFORMAT. But analog does make some assumptions about the sort of information it expects on a logfile line, and the further these assumptions are from being met, the harder it will be!
  9. How can I run analog automatically every day?
    This depends on your particular machine. On Unix, you need to run analog as a cron job (see "man cron"). This is my cron command to run it at 1:50am every day:
    50 1 * * * $HOME/bin/analog
    On Windows NT you can do the same with the at command. (It's probably easiest to put it in a batch job; also only an administrator can run at.) On Windows 98, it should be possible with the Task Scheduler, although I haven't tried it. On Windows 95 it's not possible as far as I know.
    On Mac, there are programs called Cron or CronoTask to do this.
  10. How can I automatically email the results to myself or someone else?
    Again, this depends on your operating system. On Unix, it's easy:
    analog +a +O- | mailx -s"Subject" someuser@somewhere.com
    I don't know about other operating systems, but at the worst, you can write the output to a temporary file, and then mail that file.
  11. I'm setting up IIS. Which logfile format should I use?
    The W3C format is probably best. You can turn fields on and off in this format. And it contains all the possible fields which can be logged, which the other formats do not. However, it is important to turn the date field on (it's off by default), not just to log the date once at the top: see the section on problems with logfile formats for why.
  12. I host lots of virtual domains. How should I set up analog?
    There's a How-To which discusses this issue. There's also a file in the examples directory.
  13. Can I make several output pages with just one run of analog?
    Not at the moment. I want to do this in a future version, but it will require some considerable work. However, depending on your which options you want to vary, you may be able to avoid having to read the logfile several times by using cache files. (This is likely to be faster, but more complicated.)
  14. I ran out of memory when trying to run analog. What can I do?
    See the section on Coping with low memory.
  15. You're processing 20,000,000 requests in under 10 minutes. Why is mine much slower?
    or Analog appears to stall.
    If you have DNS lookups on, they are very slow. Otherwise, it probably depends on the speed of your computer and disks, and what other programs are running at the same time. You can use the PROGRESSFREQ command to see if it's really stalled or whether it's just being slow. If you are running out of memory, you might find analog's LOWMEM commands helpful.
  16. How do I make a link on my page that runs analog?
    Link to the anlgform program, with the desired options. But be careful about the load on your server.
  17. Do I have to save all my old logfiles?
    or Can analog make statistics from old reports instead of reading the whole logfile again?
    These questions are answered in the section about Cache files.
  18. Can analog write to a database or spreadsheet?
    Use the computer-readable output style, which can export to CSV. Or if what you really want to do is to run analog again without re-reading the logfiles, read the section about Cache files.

E. Form Interface

There is also a section on troubleshooting in the documentation about the form interface.
  1. I couldn't make the form run.
    Have you made analog work without the form? Have you run anlgform.pl from the command line as explained in the section on troubleshooting?
  2. How can I specify different logfiles from the form interface?
    Just add a new field to the form with name=LOGFILE
  3. My browser showed me anlgform.pl, rather than running it.
    You have to tell the server to execute the CGI program, not just send it out like it would for a normal file. Often this is done by putting it in a special /cgi-bin/ directory.
  4. Why does the form interface give "Document Returned no Data"?
    If it doesn't happen for a while, then probably the server is giving up before the analog process has finished running. Increase the timeout interval on the server.
  5. The images don't appear when running analog from the form interface.
    For the bar charts, you probably need to set the IMAGEDIR, because if the images are in your /cgi-bin/ directory, the server will normally try to execute them instead of just sending them out. Pie charts don't appear unless you configure them specially.
  6. Why do I get some reports that weren't requested on the form?
    If a report is neither included nor excluded on the form, the system default will be used. This will depend on your configuration files and on compile-time settings.
  7. How do I make a link to anlgform.pl without using anlgform.html?
    anlgform.pl accepts the GET or POST methods of form submission. So you can make a link with the arguments passed after a question mark in the usual GET way.
  8. Is there a form interface not using Perl (e.g. ASP or .exe)?
    There is a Windows executable version of the Perl script on the analog helpers page. At the time of writing, I don't know of any ASP version of the anlgform program, but if someone writes one, I'll put it on the analog helpers page too. Warning: Potential authors must understand CGI security issues in general, and the extra issues about what the analog form interface must disallow, or they will open security holes on their system.

F. Design Decisions

or "Why didn't you do it this way?"
  1. Why doesn't the HEADERFILE replace the whole <head> of the output file?
    Because you almost never get valid HTML or XHTML that way. Use a style sheet instead.
  2. Why don't you just use one image, and scale it with the width and height attributes?
    It doesn't work with the BARSTYLE command.
  3. In the XHTML output, why not just put a class= on each <COL> instead of on each cell?
    Because most properties can't be set on columns. For example, you can't set the text colour for a whole column. See the CSS spec.
  4. Why doesn't the OUTFILE command automatically create the directory for the output file?
    Actually, most programs don't do this. It's too easy to create directories in unrelated parts of the filesystem if you make a typo.
  5. Why not automatically spot robots by whether they request /robots.txt?
    It's not reliable. Not all robots request /robots.txt, and not everything that requests /robots.txt is a robot. (Consider a webmaster checking his own /robots.txt, for example.)
  6. Why not just do DNS resolution of the hosts that actually make it into the Host Report?
    There is one theoretical and one practical problem. Theoretically, the problem is that which hosts do make it into the Host Report can change when the DNS lookups have been done. And practically, this wouldn't help identify the busiest countries or organisations, which is usually what you really want to know. However, there is a Perl script on the helper applications page to do this.
  7. Couldn't you do the DNS lookups faster with threads?
    The problem is, the standard commands for DNS lookups are not thread-safe on many platforms, so it would involve a lot of platform-specific code. Also it's technically difficult to coordinate the lookup threads and the main logfile-reading thread. Again, there are programs for specific platforms on the helper applications page.
  8. Why doesn't analog analyse the error_log?
    The error log is intended for humans rather than computers to read. So there is no consistent format: even different versions of the same server have different formats. And there is not much need to analyse it because analog's various failure reports are good enough for almost all purposes.
  9. My server lists local names in the logfile. Can you put a common suffix on them automatically?
    This wouldn't be a good idea by default, because things like "unknown" would get the suffix. You can always add them using HOSTALIAS. (There is an example to accomplish this using regular expressions in the section about aliases.)
  10. Can you extrapolate from the current month's partial data to produce a prediction for the whole month, based on the rate so far?
    No. There are too many problems in trying to produce anything sensible, especially near the beginning of the month. Different days of the week and different times of day cause lots of problems. I would prefer to produce accurate raw data than suspect derived data.
  11. Can you extend the Domain Report to say which US states people visited from?
    No. Some programs pretend to do this, but you can actually only tell which state the computer the person was using is in, which may be quite different from where the user was for ISP's or other large organisations.
  12. Please distinguish between the different BSDs in the Operating System Report.
    Sorry, I know they're different operating systems, but I don't want to introduce any finer granularity. At least, not in the main distribution -- the prepackaged versions for BSD do add this granularity, and this is good.
  13. Why not use language codes instead of country codes for the names of the language files?
    People are more familiar with the country codes, and not all of my languages have language codes anyway. Anyway, the filenames are normally invisible to the user.
  14. Why doesn't analog produce statistics on "visits"?
    See How the Web Works.
  15. Why don't you sell analog?
    I didn't write analog for the money, and I'm happy just to see people use it. Also, by making it open source, lots of people send me ideas and code to include in future versions. How do you think I got all those languages? (Of course, if you want to send me money, or gifts in kind, or even just postcards...).

Go to the analog home page.

Stephen Turner
19 December 2004

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