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Re: [webalizer] Help me understand Webalizer , pls !

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  • p_d_burton@comcast.net
    excellent! i love it!! extremely accurate ;) ;) Agreed. While a concise, well-executed question is the easiest to answer, doing a little extra
    Message 1 of 9 , Mar 17, 2005
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      <quote>
      excellent! i love it!! extremely accurate ;) ;)
      </quote>

      Agreed. While a concise, well-executed question is the easiest to answer, doing a little extra to connect with the "asker" saves time and confusion. I think this is a big hurdle for OSS especially: most support comes from developers.

      I am not a programmer or developer, I am a technical writer for a software company, and every day I have to explain to programmers why software has to be usable. I think the problem is that programmers are too close to the software. The focus is put more on the "why" than the "how." Ultimately (in extreme cases), programmers don't even know how to _use_ the software, just why someone would need to execute this method, or call that function, etc.

      In the example at hand, when a user asks how Webalizer works in a general way, you _could_ tersely state the utterly obvious (while assuming that the "asker" is ignorant), or you could, for example, point them toward some other resource (we assume _you_ are a resource given the fact that you participate in this list). You could even (horrors!) _ask_ for clarification of the question.

      I don't want to beat a dead horse. I know this is not the forum for this particular discussion. I just want to make clear my opinion that projects like this would be much easier to work with if _everyone_ went out of his/her way to understand and be understood, regardless of whether other people are doing it.
    • waldo kitty
      ... in some cases, yes... in many others, it comes from testers and users who have dug in and worked out the how s and why s ;) ... this is very true... i ve
      Message 2 of 9 , Mar 17, 2005
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        p_d_burton@... wrote:
        > <quote>
        > excellent! i love it!! extremely accurate ;) ;)
        > </quote>
        >
        > Agreed. While a concise, well-executed question is the easiest to answer, doing a little extra to connect with the "asker" saves time and confusion. I think this is a big hurdle for OSS especially: most support comes from developers.

        in some cases, yes... in many others, it comes from testers and users who have dug in and worked out the how's and why's ;)

        > I am not a programmer or developer, I am a technical writer for a software company, and every day I have to explain to programmers why software has to be usable. I think the problem is that programmers are too close to the software. The focus is put more on the "why" than the "how." Ultimately (in extreme cases), programmers don't even know how to _use_ the software, just why someone would need to execute this method, or call that function, etc.

        this is very true... i've been a coder for many years... close to 30 if i really count... i've also done technical
        writting insofar as writting some user structural manuals but that was many years ago, too... your thoughts on the
        coders being too close to the code is accurate, too... i do recognize that what is obvious to a coder may not be obvious
        to a user...

        as an example, i remember way back when the tandy 1000 first hit the streets... there were many many folk who diligently
        followed the instructions in the manual and wiped out the only boot floppy that came with the machine... this happened
        because the manual never explicitly stated to remove the boot floppy and insert a blank one... the "funniest" thing
        about this situation was that it was the section starting off about making backup copies of the boot floppy in case
        something happened to it and the original was unusable! ;) ;) of course, that was only funny to those like myself that
        saw the problem and couldn't believe that that one single step being left out could really cause such a situation...

        anyway, my main goal in answering that post was to give that person at least one answer because i figured that not many
        others would answer him... this group is pretty low traffic, ya know... i also figured that that person would reply with
        a few more questions asking for further clarification... i'll also note that no one else has written an answer in the
        group to that person's original question ;)

        --
        _\/
        (@@) Waldo Kitty, Waldo's Place USA
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      • Enric Naval
        waldo said... i ll also note that no one else has ... Oooops, you re right. Okay, let s see, allow me to make a small answer for that person. The actual
        Message 3 of 9 , Mar 17, 2005
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          waldo said...

          i'll also note that no one else has
          > written an answer in the
          > group to that person's original question ;)
          >

          Oooops, you're right.


          Okay, let's see, allow me to make a small answer for
          that person.



          The actual webalizer reports are generated in the
          files "output.c" and "output.h".

          The logfiles that are feeded to webalizer are parsed
          in "parser.h" and "parser.c".

          The nice graphs are generated in "graphs.h" and
          "graphs.c". Pretty obvious until here. (From now on
          I'll use something.h/c instead something.h,
          something.c)

          Webalizer uses internally both lists and hashtables,
          those are defined in "hastab.h/c" and "linklist.h/c".

          "dns_resolv./hc" make the DNS resolution, to translate
          IPs to hostnames.

          "preserve.h/c" I believe it is for managing the
          incremental mode, the histoy file, and such.

          Webalizer parses the logfiles with parser.h/c, saving
          the parsed information in structures which are defined
          in hastab.h/c and linklist.h/c. If dns resolving is
          on, it will use the functions defined in dns_resolv to
          resolve the IPs. Then it uses preserve.h/c to decide
          what output it should generate, and finally executes
          the functions in output.h/c to generate the actual
          HTML pages where you can the stats of your web server.


          Basically, "parser" will fill up the hashtables and
          linked lists, and "output" will simply go over them in
          an ordered manner and output them in a human-readable
          manner,and make some convinient calculations like
          "daily average of visits" by counting all visits and
          dividing by the number of days.


          The rest of things are just filler designed to add
          nice features.

          Enric Naval
          Estudiante de Inform�tica de Gesti�n en la Udl (Lleida)
          GRIHO webalizer.conf
          http://griho.udl.es/webalizer/webalizer.conf.txt

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