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Frequently asked questions
This list is divided into six sections:
Sometimes two or three questions have the same answer!
Most questions in this category are answered in the section entitled
Starting to use analog. If you can't get
analog running you should look there.
- Getting Started
- Basic Configuration
- Understanding the Output
- Advanced Usage
- Form Interface
- Design Decisions
Analog has lots of configuration commands, all of which are in the section on
Customising analog. Here are some of
the most common questions. If your question isn't answered here, you could
also try looking in the index.
- Analog just flashes up a DOS window and then quits.
This is the correct behaviour. It should have created a report
called Report.html. See Starting
to use analog under Windows.
- When I try and compile analog, it gives me an error.
Maybe you need to edit the Makefile. There are some
platform-specific notes in the section
Starting to use analog on other
platforms, and in the Makefile itself.
- Analog didn't write the logfile when I ran it.
Analog doesn't write the logfiles. Your web server writes the
logfiles, and analog just reads them. See
Starting to use analog.
- Analog is looking for files like
/usr/local/etc/httpd/analog/analog.cfg which don't exist.
You have to set the location of these files in analhead.h
- Analog won't read extended logfiles generated by IIS.
This server writes the date only at the top of the logfile, not on
every line. But it doesn't write a new date if the date changes during
the logfile, so analog can't tell which date later entries in the log
occurred on. More details, and what to do about it, are in the section on
Choosing a logfile.
- What does this error (or warning) mean?
See the section on Errors and
- I tried to run analog from my browser, but it didn't work.
You can't run analog itself directly from a browser. You need to use
the CGI program which outputs the correct
- Is analog Year 2000 compatible?
Yes (and so are all previous versions). It interprets two-year dates
in input as lying between 1970 & 2069 inclusive.
Most of the questions in this category are answered in the section on
What the results mean, which I really
recommend you read if you want to understand what analog is telling you.
- I want to make several different statistics pages. Do I have to
install several copies of analog?
No. Just install it once, and run it with different
- Why doesn't the Daily Report only show the last six weeks?
This is controlled by the
- How do I get information on just my pages, not everybody's?
Use the FILEINCLUDE command.
- How do I ignore accesses from my site?
Use the HOSTEXCLUDE command.
- How do I get the Request Report to list files with fewer than 20
Use the REQFLOOR
- How can I combine all the hosts from each company in the Host
You can see this information in the Domain Report if you use the
SUBDOMAIN command: for example
SUBDOMAIN *.com. (Or you can several
HOSTALIAS commands -- but I
think the first solution is better).
- I want to list (or not to list) referrers with their search
arguments in the Referrer Report
To see the search arguments you may need to set the
REFARGSFLOOR lower. To avoid
seeing them, you could set the REFARGSFLOOR higher, or
alternatively use the
REFARGSEXCLUDE command to
ignore them either for all files or just for particular files.
- Can I find out the number of hosts that have accessed each file?
or Can I find out the number of hosts visiting on each day?
No; it would require storing too much data (all host/file pairs, or
all host/day pairs). If there's a particular file you're interested in,
use FILEINCLUDE to restrict the
analysis to only that file. If there's a particular day you're
interested in, use FROM and
TO to restrict the analysis to only that day. You can see
the last date on which each host visited by using the
- Can I get data on individual visitors, or visits, to my site?
No, it's not technically possible, and don't believe any program
which tells you it is. See the section on
How the web works for details.
- How do I find out the number of hits from your data?
I don't use the word hits, because people use it in
different ways, so it's misleading. I use requests for the
number of transfers of any type of file (text, graphics, ...), and
page requests for the number of transfers of HTML pages. See the
section on Analog's definitions
for more information.
- Why are there so many referrers from my own site?
These come from all the internal links on your site, and all the
graphics on your pages. See the section on
How the web works for more
information. If you don't want to see them, you can use
REFREPEXCLUDE to exclude them.
- Why doesn't analog agree with the counter on my page?
There are lots of possible reasons. Do they both start from
the same date? Are you just looking at requests for that one page with
analog, not for all your other pages and graphics? Also, analog will
record all requests to that page; if it's a graphic, your counter will
only measure requests from people on graphical browsers that reached
that place on the page.
- Why do I only get "unresolved numerical addresses" in the domain
Your server only records the numerical IP address of the hosts that
contact you, not their names. Read the section about
DNS lookups, or turn DNS resolution
on in your server..
- Why are my CGI scripts not listed in the Request Report?
If they cause a redirection to another page, they will be listed in
the Redirection Report, rather than the Request Report.
- Why are directories listed in the Request Report?
They are not directories, they are pages with the same name as
the directory. For example, I have both a directory called
/analog/ and a page called /analog/ (which happens
to be the same as /analog/index.html).
- When someone reads one of my pdf files, it scores dozens of hits.
PDF files are often downloaded and read one page at a time, and each
page will then count as a separate request. Although this is not ideal,
it's much less clear what to do about it. Analog has no way of knowing
how many pages constituted a single download in the reader's mind. As
usual, we can only reliably report how many requests there were at the
server, not guess what users did with the file later.
There is also a section on troubleshooting in
the documentation about the form interface.
- How can I do such-and-such with a command line option?
Use the +C option to put any
configuration command on the command line.
- I want a list of all command line arguments.
There is a list in the index.
- How can I run analog automatically every day?
This depends on your particular machine. On Unix, you need to run
analog as a cron job (see "man cron"). This is my cron command:
20 1 * * * $HOME/misc/analog
On Windows NT you can do the same with the at command, but only an
administrator can run at. On Windows 98, it should be possible with the
Task Scheduler, although I haven't tried it. On Windows 95 it's not
possible as far as I know.
On Mac, there are programs called
to do this.
- I host lots of virtual domains. How should I set up analog?
In my opinion, if you haven't got many virtual domains, the best
thing is to log each one to a different logfile and analyse them
independently. If you have got lots of virtual domains, you may have to
log them all to the same logfile. In that case, make sure to log the
virtual host name on each line. Tell analog the
LOGFORMAT if necessary, and then
use the VHOSTINCLUDE command to
pick out the lines you want. Alternatively, split the single logfile into
separate logfiles before running analog on it; this avoids making
several passes through the whole logfile.
- Can I make multiple reports with one pass through the logfile?
Not at the moment. I want to do this in a future version, but it will
require some considerable work.
- I ran out of memory when trying to run analog. What can I do?
See the section on Coping with low memory.
- You're processing 20,000,000 requests in under 10 minutes. Why is mine
or Analog appears to stall.
If you have DNS lookups on, they are very
slow. Otherwise, it probably depends on the speed of your computer and
disks, and what other programs are running at the same time. You can
use the PROGRESSFREQ command to see
if it's really stalled or whether it's just being slow. If you are
running out of memory, you might find analog's
LOWMEM commands helpful.
- How do I make a link on my page that runs analog?
Link to the anlgform program, with the
desired options. But be careful about the load on your server.
- Do I have to save all my old logfiles?
This is answered in the section about
or "Why didn't you do it this way?"
- My browser asked me to save anlgform.exe, rather than running it.
You have to tell the server to execute the CGI program, not just
send it out like it would for a normal file. Often this is done by
putting it in a special /cgi-bin/ directory.
- Why does the form interface give "Document Returned no
If it doesn't happen for a while, then probably the server is giving
up before the analog process has finished running. Increase the timeout
interval on the server.
- The images don't appear when running analog from the form
You probably need to change the
IMAGEDIR. If the images are in your
/cgi-bin/ directory, the server will try to execute them
instead of just sending them out.
- How can I specify different logfiles from the form interface?
Just add a new field to the form with name=lo
- Why do I get some reports that weren't requested on the form?
If a report is neither included nor excluded on the form, the
system default will be used. This will depend on your configuration files
and on compile-time settings.
- Why don't you just use one image, and scale it with the
WIDTH and HEIGHT attributes?
or Can I change the background colour of my output?
or Why not use HTML tables?
These things don't work in HTML 2.0, which is the sort of HTML
- Well then, why not use HTML 4.0?
Unfortunately my bar charts don't work in HTML 4.0. Also, not all
browsers can cope with some features of HTML 4.0, such as tables.
HTML 2.0 works on all browsers.
- Why not just do DNS resolution of the hosts that actually make it
into the Host Report?
There is one theoretical and one practical problem. Theoretically,
the problem is that which hosts do make it into the Host Report can
change when the DNS lookups have been done. And practically, this
wouldn't help identify the busiest countries or organisations, which is
usually what you really want to know. However, there is a Perl script on
the helper applications page to do this.
- Couldn't you do the DNS lookups faster with threads?
The problem is, the standard commands for DNS lookups are not
thread-safe on many platforms, so it would involve a lot of
platform-specific code. Again, there are programs for specific platforms
on the helper applications page.
- Why doesn't analog analyse the error_log?
This is answered in detail on the
What's new? page. But in
summary, it's too difficult because each server has a different format
for its error log. The various failure reports are good enough for most
- My server lists local names in the logfile. Can you put a common
suffix on them automatically?
This wouldn't be a good idea, because things like "unknown"
would get the suffix. You can always add them using
- Can you extrapolate from the current month's partial data to produce
a prediction for the whole month, based on the rate so far?
No. There are too many problems in trying to produce anything
sensible, especially near the beginning of the month. Different days of
the week and different times of day cause lots of problems. I would
prefer to produce raw accurate data than suspect derived data.
- Can you extend the Domain Report to say which US states people visited
No. Some programs pretend to do this, but you can actually only tell
which state the computer the person was using is in, which may be quite
different from where the user was for ISP's or other large organisations.
- Why not use language codes instead of country codes for the names
of the language files?
People are more familiar with the country codes. And not all of my
languages have language codes anyway.
- Why don't you sell analog?
I didn't write analog for the money, and I'm happy just to see
people use it. Also, by making it freeware, lots of people send me ideas
and code to include in future versions. How do you think I got all those
languages? (Of course, if you want to send me money, or gifts in kind,
or even just postcards...).
If there's still something you can't figure out, see the
next section for how to get help with analog.
Personal e-mail: email@example.com
Need help with analog? Subscribe to the analog-help
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