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More tasty stats goodness

by jcwren (Prior)
on Jan 26, 2001 at 05:34 UTC ( #54459=monkdiscuss: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help?? paraphrase a vroom-ism.

A few minor updates to the infamous stats pages: (this actually turned out longer than I expected, so please excuse...)

  • Collection of birthday tags has been ongoing for sometime, so I've finally added them to the displays. There's also a link on the main page showing the total number of monks with birthday tags. If you're one of the people supressing the year on your birthday, please check that you used '0000-mm-dd', and not 'XXXX-mm-dd', or 'YYYY-mm-dd', as a couple of people have done. Either use the complete year, or use '0000' in place of the year. Incorrectly formatted birthday tags are ignored.

  • I've added a page that shows the number of days until a monks next birthday, for any monk with a birthday tag. In theory, this should handle leap years, although we shouldn't have to worry about that for sometime. For monks birthdays that have already occurred this year, 365 (or 366 in a leap year) is added to move them back to the future (you know, that might make a good title for a mov... naw...)

  • Collection of email tags has also been going on for a while, and they're finally displayed. Again, there is a link on the main page showing the total. Please consider adding your email address, preferrably without any spam fighting cutesy-isms. Since this is a CGI page, and low volume, it's *highly* unlikely that they'll be harvested.

  • The scanner now checks for the presence of GeekCode blocks. GeekCodes are *supposed* to have a standard header and trailer. It's looking for the ending tag, since some people wrap a hyperlink around the start tag to have it automatically decoded. See the news section for more of an explanation. There are a couple of people with incorrectly formatted GeekCode tags out there (like adding the word 'Perl' in there somewhere). If you have a GeekCode, please consider adhering to the standard for thier presentation. For the record, the actual Geekcode isn't stored, only a flag indicating it's presence on a homenode.

  • I've also added a graph of the number of new users per week. It's a cruddy looking graph, IMO. That's a function of the graphing package I'm using. The guy wants real money ($100 USD) for the latest version which fixes many of these things. I'd like to add a graph of the number of users logged in per week, but because of the way the data is managed, this isn't currently possible. I'm looking at the idea of altering the database to support this, however.

  • Fixed a bug a few people had pointed out, that sorting on certain critera generated an error at the bottom of the page. This one should be squashed, this time around.

  • For you Netscapers, I can't do much. For some reason, Netscape has never been able to render wide pages. They worry more about adding "skins" than getting core functionality down, which is probably half the reason they're in the state they're in. I use IE (don't hurt me!) to test, and I've looked at in Opera, before the free ran out. Any suggestion regarding this would be appreciated. I don't *like* winding up being browser specific, but it's all legal HTML, so Netscape should get thier act together.

  • To this end, I'm aware that having to scroll sideways to reach all the sort fields is awkward. I'll try to fix this, but at the moment it's kind of a pain. Towards this, please see the next paragraph.

I'm looking for opinions on adding cookies. Most everyone hates cookies, I know. However, if I added them, I could allow customizing of what fields are displayed in the stats pages, so you could prune off the fields you don't care about, and narrow the display down, possibly causing Netscape to work. I *really* don't want to get into supporting user profiles, by logging into the stats pages. That's more trouble for you, and for me. Would cookies be permissable? Or would I be hunted down and shot, like the dog that I am? If we add cookies, I can also support a default page when you come to the stats site.

Remember to check the news section periodically. Any time any changes are made (fixes, additions, whatever), I put a comment in there.

Stats are generated at two different times. The typical XP related stuff is once an hour, at approximately 13 minutes past the hour. Location, birthday, email, and GeekCode processing is done at about 3:50 AM in the morning, EST/EDT. To minimize the server load, only the homenodes of people that have logged in within the last 25 (yes, 25) hours are checked for tags.

I'd like to thank everyone for such an interest in the pages, all the people who've made suggestions, and particularly footpad and mikfire. mikfire (and his wife Tory) did some of the original graphics, and HTML. footpad has done all the new buttons, and without him, there would be only HTML-type submit buttons, because I can't draw a straight line with a CAD package. And I'd like to thank vroom for being so accomodating for adding fields to the stats, and making the data available.

For those who have asked, the stats pages are written in PHP4. PHP was chosen because I needed (OK, wanted...) a project to compare PHP and Perl. The hourly and daily scanners are written in Perl. The machine hosting the stats is a Abit KT7-RAID motherboard, with a 1Ghz Athlon, 256MB PC133 memory, and two 27 GB Maxtor drives, hanging out the end of a 144K IDSL line.

As usual, when you find the bugs, please email or /msg them to me, and I'll try to take care of them, or at least cover them up with a lot of handwaving, smoke & mirrors, and pointing out that it's really someone elses fault.


e-mail jcwren

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: More tasty stats goodness
by jcwren (Prior) on Feb 03, 2001 at 00:51 UTC

    In an effort to whore some more XP... No, that's not right.

    In an effort to create Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt..., No, that's not right either...

    Because I can't leave something that works perfectly well alone... Yes, that's it!

    I've done some major revamping on the internals of the stats pages. Non-mandatory cookies are now supported, so that if you're willing to use cookies, you can set a default start page (like you XP graphers, I know who you are!), whether to use CSS, non-CSS ("Old Netscape") or Best Luck for table rendering, and 'Auto News'.

    Setting the default start page is easy. Go to the page you'd like to be your start page, then click the Preferences button, and select 'Update Preferences'. Now, whenever you come back to the stats pages, you'll be taken to your favorite page. This is mentioned in the help, but if you bookmark the site, PLEASE make sure there is not a '?goto=xxx' (that means some value, not stats pr0n!) in the bookmarked URL. The default start page only works when the '?goto=' isn't present, since '?goto=' tells the system what page to go to.

    Regardless of what some cretins maintain about HTML, the tables are designed to be rendered in a certain format, namely, without breaking on spaces, so each record is on one line. When it's wider than the screen, well, that's what the horizontal scrollbar is for. At any rate, browser incompatibility has become a favorite rant of mine. You can read more about that here. This option is designed to (hopefully) let you pick whichever mode best renders the tables on your browser.

    Auto News works similiarly to the default page. Whenever I update the news, an internal variable is changed. If the value in the cookie is not the same as the internal value, you'll be taken to the News page. The cookie will then be updated with the new revision level, and you won't see the news until it's changed again.

    I've also tried to clean up the HTML a little more, and hopefully not introduce any glaring new bugs. As usual, if you find something, please don't hesitate to e-mail or /msg me. Or if you come up with a better way to present any of the information, I'm always open to improvements.


    e-mail jcwren
Re: More tasty stats goodness
by redcloud (Parson) on Jan 26, 2001 at 12:46 UTC
    Woohoo! It's me at the top of the birthday list! Yay!
    <IMG SRC="/pm/corner-ul2.gif" WIDTH="12" HEIGHT="12" BORDER="0">

    <NOBR>Node ID</NOBR> <NOBR>Name</NOBR> <NOBR>Birthday</NOBR> <NOBR>Days Until</NOBR>
    <NOBR>8656</NOBR> <NOBR>redcloud</NOBR> <NOBR>1969-01-26</NOBR> <NOBR>0</NOBR>

    I'm 2**5 years old. 8^)

    Thanks for all the work you put in on your stats page, jcwren! It really adds something to our little community here.

      Since a few of us just hit 2**5 I'd like to hope for at least two more binary birthdays =) 2**7 and still coding would be nice...

      $you = new YOU;
      honk() if $you->love(perl)

Re: More tasty stats goodness
by Maclir (Curate) on Jan 29, 2001 at 02:26 UTC
    Thanks, jcwren - your stats pages are simply great. Interesting to not that among those of us not worried about mentioning our age, only mkmcconn is senior to myself.

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