[clug-talk] Google Analytics is very cool web site tracking tool

Shawn sgrover at open2space.com
Mon Apr 27 14:01:25 PDT 2009

Royce Souther wrote:
> Any way. My point is. Google has a free tool that analysis web site 
> traffic in great detail. I am using it on a site where I do not have 
> access to the code and they offer it as a free tool. I don't mind if 
> Google knows who is visiting my site. I do want Google to know about my 
> site so every thing I have seen about this free and well designed tool 
> is good.

Just to re-iterate/clarify.  PiWik (http://piwik.org/) does the same. 
Once you have set up the server side, you end up with a block of code 
(html/js) to paste into your pages - just like Google.  The only 
difference is the data is stored on YOUR server, not google's.  You 
still get the fancy stats/graphs/etc.

As for the discussion regarding users and recommendations...  Users are 
generally non-technical.  Build your sites to meet the standards and 
most users won't notice (and that's a good thing).  But build a site 
that only works in specific instances, and those users notice and 
complain.  As a developer, it is not my responsibility to make sure 
users can safely browse OTHER websites that I have no control over. 
But, for my sites, there is the noscript tag, and CSS can do a lot of 
fancy stuff without using JS at all - like menus/rollovers.  I have 
never used the NoScript FF plugin, nor feel I need too.

Nobody should ever trust JS (or any other code) that has not been vetted 
in some way.  In practice this becomes hard to do unless you outright 
turn off JS support in the browser.  But then half the web just stops 
working for you.  There is a balance here that we developers have no 
control over, nor should we.  (Once we do, it will just be abused by 
those who are already abusing the current system.)  Tools like the 
NoScript plugin address this issue for those who need/want to worry 
about it.

My thoughts.


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