Google Analytics Misses Things

I have suspected that Google Analytics hides things it doesn't understand for a few weeks now. Whilst I am not certain about that, it definitely misses some things, and gets others wrong. Let us examine what it misses first. Some old browsers register only the first page visited, and the rest are not counted. This results in Google Analytics marking their visits as "bounces," when these visitors did, in fact, view multiple pages. For example, Mozilla 4 and lower appear to cause this. Other browsers do not even register at all, resulting in uncounted visits. These details were obtained by comparing the results from Google Analytics, to this site's server logs. 


Month in Review

This site has been up for almost an month now. Most of this time has been spent generating content to put online. The initial build of the website was fairly rapid, taking only an evening or two. This is due to how Silverstripe is to use. Some technical issues got in the way (see previous blog posts), but this is a spare-time project, so one cannot expect rapid progress. Nevertheless, a few templates and programming articles are online, along with a page (and gallery) about MiniGL 2.0 for Amiga OS 4.


Did a Mac User Just Subscribe?

Looking through the log generated by the web-server, I noticed that a user agent called Apple-PubSub has been accessing blog/rss/, which is the RSS feed for this blog. Apple-PubSub is the name of Mac OS-X's built in RSS reader. If you are the Mac user (or one of the Mac users?) that subscribed, welcome; if you are not, welcome too. This is an example of the wealth of information available in the logs.


MiniGL Templates Now Online

The first few MiniGL templates are now online in the articles section. Strictly speaking these templates are platform independent, so they could be used on any platform with OpenGL and a GCC compiler. The purpose of the templates is to help developers get started with 3D on Amiga OS 4. They demonstrate how easy it is to set up a simple OpenGL based application.


Internal Links are Important Too

Yesterday I noticed that someone had found my site by searching for "'_gat' is not an object". This search currently brings up one page which, is a blog entry on this site about XHTML, Firefox and Javascript. However, the visit was listed by Google Analytics as a "bounce," that is, the visitor viewed that one page, and then left my site. Most likely he/she moved on to the page on Weston Ruter's site that I linked to that contains a partial solution to the problem, written in Javascript. If this visitor had bothered to look further on this site, he/she would have discovered that a much simpler, and more effective, solution was presented in this blog post.


Emailing Unencrypted Passwords Defeats their Point

This is one of my pet peeves with online services. Today I signed up to something on a website, and, after selecting a password, they emailed it back to me unencrypted. If I choose my own password, then I already know what it is, and do not need to have it sent to me as a reminder. Moreover, the whole point of passwords is that it provides some means of confirming that it is in fact me, and not someone else that is trying to access my account. So sending it to me in an email and having it stored unencrypted on a server, and then visible in my inbox, defeats the purpose of having the password in the first place. There is no point in having encryption of any sort in a log on system if the passwords are transmitted unencrypted elsewhere. 


The First Content

Twenty three days after creating this site, the first actual content for this website is finally online. The pages outlines MiniGL 2.0, an open-source project for Amiga OS 4 that I have been working on in my spare time for several months. It has taken longer to finish these pages than expected; partly due to the technical issues involved with setting up the site, and partly because I am a novice when it comes to building web-sites.


Google Polska?

Google Webmasters Tools has a statistics page that tells you what the top searches were that your site was listed in, and what your position was in the search. To my surprise, this site's top ranking was in 3rd place for the search "Google Polska." How did that happen? I am not Polish; I am a Dutch Kiwi. Whilst someone did once ask if I had any Polish ancestry, there is no way that the Googlebot could see my blond hair and ask that question. Not to mention that the Poles are not the only blond-haired Europeans in this world.


Browser Quirks

I just spent a few agonizing hours adjusting the page layout of this site. All I wanted to do was shift the main navigation bar above the splash image, and then right-align the menu items. Not being familiar with CSS (I am not a web designer), this was a trial-and-error process interspersed with searches for information on CSS. The real killer was that Firefox 3 was not rendering things the way that I wanted, whereas Internet Explorer was (although Internet Explorer still messes up the fonts). I have taken to testing layouts on multiple browsers, as there is no knowing whether it will look right on all of them.


Site Redesign

I've redesigned the website to encompass more of my interests. My interests and projects stretch far beyond just Amiga OS 4. Therefore making this one of the main sections simply made expanding this site difficult. Hence, I have changed the site's structure, before such changes become major overhauls. The lack of visitors at present makes this easier; there are no external links that will be screwed up by this change. 


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