Date: Wed, 28 Apr 1999 14:09:40 -0400 (EDT) From: "Bradford L. Barrett" <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.3.96.990428133239.9490Cemail@example.com> Subject: Re: Log tools > Do we have any guidlelines on how to interpret logs, what to look for. I > see a need for user education to improve accuracy and understanding. As the author of the Webalizer, a web server log file analysis tool (http://www.mrunix.net/webalizer/), I have found that there are a lot of people out there running servers that have no clue as to what is possible/not possible regarding the analysis of their logs. Some of the available tools out there do not help matters either, claiming all sorts of statistics that simply cannot be produced using existing logs (with any real accuracy). One of my design goals was to produce the most accurate statistics possible, which is why some of the 'features' that other analysis tools claim to have are not included in my code. Being an open- source project, I don't need to generate the marketing hype that some of the commercial packages must, in order to sell their product. But it is this marketing hype that misleads users into believing that certain statistics are possible, and worse, accurate. I think that industry sponsored guidelines (call them what you want) would do a great deal towards end-user education and understanding. I don't see how accuracy would be increased though, except perhaps by allowing users to realize that some of the statistics generated are less accurate than what they were lead to believe. By the way, for those interested, the latest version (1.22-03) of the Webalizer was released last month, and is by far the most stable version to date. Several members of the W3C, NCSA and some other large site admins helped in the debugging of the code, which now routinely handles analysis of sites with an excess of 50 million hits a month. It's is GPL code, so anyone who wants to take a look "under the hood" can do so. -- Bradford L. Barrett firstname.lastname@example.org A free electron in a sea of neutrons DoD#1750 KD4NAW The only thing Micro$oft has done for society, is make people believe that computers are inherently unreliable.