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Re: study completed

From: Tai Jin <tai@nexus.hpl.hp.com>
Date: Wed, 25 Sep 1996 12:12:39 -0700
Message-Id: <199609251912.AA155508759@nexus.hpl.hp.com>
To: jpl95@aber.ac.uk
Cc: www-talk@w3.org
> I am just completing a study re:
>     The effects that caching has on the 
>     monitoring of web statistics.
> In it I have come up with a method of 
> guaranteeing accurate stats.
> To see a summary of my idea please see:
> http://www.aber.ac.uk/~jpl95/

That's one way to do it.  I take it that you are depending on the use
of the Referer header to determine which page was accessed.  But no
matter how small your inline gif, you're still dealing with the HTTP
overhead (hopefully the overhead will be reduced in the future).  An
alternative to downloading an inline object is to force the browsers
and proxies to perform an IMS.  I think something like this is
supported in 1.1.

In either case, there's the additional latency generated by the
request to the server.  Your method has the advantage that the page
can be displayed before getting a response from the server.  However,
it can be disconcerting to wait for the download to complete (even for
a small inline image, it could take a long time due to network and/or
server loads), and a browser doesn't tell you enough about what it's
waiting for.  So browser vendors take note:

    I'd like to see a status as to how many inline objects I'm still
    waiting for.  And the browser must distinguish between animated
    gif activity and download activity and have an option to disable
    the animated gifs.

Perhaps a better but less robust solution to the accounting problem is
to include in the request a header (e.g., Cache-Hits:) which specifies
the number of times an object was referenced.  Each time a browser
requests an object, it would include the number of times it was
referenced from its cache.  This counter would be reset whenever it
got a fresh copy.  A proxy would do the same for objects served from
its cache by returning the total hit count of all the browsers
requesting that object.

Received on Wednesday, 25 September 1996 15:12:51 UTC

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