What country are you in? How we find out on our web site
Our web site recognises the country that you're browsing from ... and that allows us to display our phone number in the format that you would have to dial to reach us, and to advise visitors to our public course pages from more distant countries that they're looking at a product for UK delivery before they go ahead and make a booking. And our Traffic Watch Page
lets us see the worldwide spread of visitors to our site too.
The database for this is not a small one - there's no easy algorithm that we can use to take an IP address (or any other part of a request to our server) and convert it into a zone or country - the database as a whole is over 1 Mb in size. And it has to be updated from time to time. Rather than try to do the job ourselves, we use the excellent Maxmind database which you'll find at http://www.maxmind.com/app/geoip_country
under their flavour of the GPL License. 'Under the license agreement, all advertising materials and documentation mentioning features or use of this database must display the following acknowledgment: "This product includes GeoLite data created by MaxMind, available from http://www.maxmind.com/"'.
The results are claimed to be 98% accurate, and the circumstantial evidence that we have world tend to confirm that. We update regularly (though not every month, as Maxmind do), and we allow our users through our accessibility page
to switch their country. I'll never forget a call from Gothenburg in Sweden made to our UK office ... which was to enquire about booking a public course which ended up running in Dublin, Ireland ... (written 2007-07-03, updated 2007-07-06)
Associated topics are indexed underA211 - Web Application Design and Deployment 
Sharing the user experience - designing a form with the customer in mind - (2011-11-29) 
Copyright, Portability and other nontechnical web site issues - (2009-03-09) 
What does an browser understand? What does an HTML document contain? - (2008-09-15) 
New bathing idea for hotels from Hotelympia - (2008-02-20) 
Letting new visitors know we provide training courses - (2008-02-19) 
Compressing web pages sent out from server. Is it worth it? - (2007-09-14) 
From Web to Web 2 - (2007-05-21) 
Finding the language preference of a web site visitor - (2006-06-18) 
Web Application Components - (2006-03-28) 
Server side scripting of styles to suit the browser - (2005-09-12) 
Sudoku helper or sudoku cheat - (2005-06-23) 
Skills and responsibilities - (2004-08-22)
Some other Articles
An inspirational business talk from one of our prospective MPsWhere am I and how did I get here?A day looking ahead for Well House ConsultantsData cabling (Cat 5e), Melksham, WiltshireWhat country are you in? How we find out on our web siteInterviewing job candidates in MelkshamComparing bus stopsKey new contactsWestbury Bypass - how it would effect MelkshamSubstitute operator / modifiers in Perl
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This is a page archived from The Horse's Mouth at
the diary and writings of Graham Ellis.
Every attempt was made to provide current information at the time the
page was written, but things do move forward in our business - new software
releases, price changes, new techniques. Please check back via
our main site for current courses,
prices, versions, etc - any mention of a price in "The Horse's Mouth"
cannot be taken as an offer to supply at that price.
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Link to Blogging home page (to add comments).