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Re: counters

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charlesn@sunrise.srl.rmit.edu.au>
Date: Fri, 24 Jul 1998 11:14:53 +1000 (EST)
To: Kristine Bradow <kbradow@ece.eng.wayne.edu>
cc: "w3c-wai-ig@w3.org" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>, David Sant <sdavid@ece.eng.wayne.edu>
Message-ID: <Pine.SUN.3.91.980724110111.2284A-100000@sunrise.srl.rmit.edu.au>
I have not seen any accessible counters, although they can be coded.

The difficulty is that all the mechanisms for including text generated on 
the fly (such as the number of times this page has been visited) mean 
that the page they are included in cannot be cached so they have to be 
fetched complete from the source each time, thus increasing the 
effective bandwidth requirement of the page and the load on the original 
server.

Including counters (or other dynamic content) is more difficult than 
writing pages which simply provide static content updated from time to time.

The easiest solutions around at the moment use databases to provide the 
content, and assemble pages on request. To use them accessibly requires a 
small amount of programming (you can read it out of the manual) and a 
knowledge of how to write accesible pages. It is a trivial exercise to 
create a counter using a system such as this, but it does require that 
you have control over the web-server. Most ISPs are not very keen on this.

The alternative is to use, as kynn said, a PERL script or something 
similar, and Server-Side Includes to add the count as a piece of text.
Most ISPs allow a cgi-bin, and the script required is fairly simple.

But as a personal preference I would not put a counter on a page. If the 
pge owner wants to know how many people use it, then create a way for 
them to get the real stats. If someone reading the page wants to know how 
popular it is, then you can just use a picture of any number you like, 
and appropriate ALT text. No need for cgi's, PERL, or anything else. And 
it's almost as accurate as most other counters.

Charles
Received on Thursday, 23 July 1998 21:36:50 GMT

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