why do httpd log analysers suck so royally?


2005-2-15

I am - not slightly - frustrated. I want to have a very specific kind of log-report and I was planning on building my very own tool to give me that. But then I thought "I should spend my time better on educating myself about existing solutions - no need to re-invent the wheel". I should rather have started coding...

What I want is fairly simple: I want referer-statistics for my blog and normal pages. Each and every tools I checked does give me that - but in a way that makes the info utterly useless. They all tend to give 'global' stats. "Top 10 referers" nonsense... What I need is a "stats for THIS page" kind of report. If I have a list of referers, I want to know WHICH OF MY PAGES they pointed to!

The closest match and by far the most flexible tool seems to be AWStats, but even that can't provide.

Another common gripe I have with all stat tools is the focus on MAX stats. I know very well which of my pages get the most hits. Those reports tend to drown the interesting info in the noise of the usual suspects. I am much more intersted in changes in performance of single pages as in overall hitcounts.

What I need to know is how a very specific page performs. My question is not 'WHICH IS THE BEST VISITED PAGE? ' but 'HOW MANY PEOPLE SAW THIS PAGE, AND WHERE DID THEY COME FROM?'

So I guess I'll do it myself anyway. PHP5 and SQLite seem like a good choice for that. Build the SQLite DB file via a cron job (PHP can be used on the commandline nicely) and do the queries via the web...

I am open to suggestions, but I guess I'll just go ahead anyway...

[update:] Andi recommends LogParser, a MS Windows commandline tool that

"[i]s a free command-line tool from Microsoft that lets you run SQL queries against a variety of log files and other system data sources, and get the results out to an array of destinations, from SQL tables to CSV files."

Well, yes. That's what I'm after... only I'd do it in either PHP or Lua using SQLite. But either way, I need to write the proper SQL... Not sure if I'm up to that now ;)

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