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Web Forensics

It's amazing what you can learn about your own business from the way that people use your web site. Web Servers routinely log all requests for pages, and ours also tells us which was the previous page people visited - in the case of search engines, that means that we can see what they searched for.

We get thousands of hits every week from the search engines - here's what people were looking for during a mid-December week [2001] ...

Pie chart
 Ruby 5 degrees
 Java 51 degrees
 Perl 96 degrees
 PHP 67 degrees
 MySQL 27 degrees
 Tcl, Tcl/Tk and Expect 23 degrees

 None of these subjects 73 degrees
 Several of these subjects in one request 18 degrees

[Update - August 2004. Just done a similar survey. Perl is far and away the biggest search work - and we now get more hits on Perl alone than on ALL searches 2.5 years ago. Python, Java, PHP, MySQL and Tcl/Tk all generate substantial traffic too (together much more than Perl), and Ruby really hasn't made it]

"Regular Expressions" is another interesting search ... we've not separated it out as it's often a search term used with "Perl" or "PHP" - but if we had done so, it would have had a larger slice than MySQL.

Aside - Perl "one-liner" to convert number of hits to an angle in degrees:
 perl -n -e 'print $_/3877*360,"\n"'

What's the most popular subjects away from the Open Source languages? 10 people were looking for information about flights from Bristol Airport during the week, 6 searches were for "Melksham". 92 searches mentioned Linux, 62 windows, 7 OS X, 5 Unix and 2 each for Solaris and AIX.



See also Deploying Linux on a Web Server

Please note that articles in this section of our web site were current and correct to the best of our ability when published, but by the nature of our business may go out of date quite quickly. The quoting of a price, contract term or any other information in this area of our website is NOT an offer to supply now on those terms - please check back via our main web site

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You'll find shorter technical items at The Horse's Mouth and delegate's questions answered at the Opentalk forum.

At Well House Consultants, we provide training courses on subjects such as Ruby, Lua, Perl, Python, Linux, C, C++, Tcl/Tk, Tomcat, PHP and MySQL. We're asked (and answer) many questions, and answers to those which are of general interest are published in this area of our site.

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