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From "Roy T. Fielding" <field...@liege.ICS.UCI.EDU>
Subject Re: counters internal to web server
Date Tue, 09 Jul 1996 00:27:09 GMT
>> Ugh.  I've never understood why people want to put "I am an idiot"
>> on their web pages.  That is the only thing a counter is capable
>> of saying.
> Hmm.. Then you must not be a webmaster...  I don't necessarily *want*
> counters on my web page...  But I have customers that do.

Geeez, how soon they forget ... I am the guy who wrote wwwstat after all,
which had a great deal to do with "selling the web". I know why numbers
are important.

The problem with counters is three-fold:

  1) They don't count what the author thinks they count.
  2) They show the reader something that the reader doesn't give a damn about
     (usually at the cost of several seconds download time).
  3) They can screw-up caching.

(1) can be just as easily, and more accurately, accomplished off-line.
(2) is an annoyance to the user and sometimes detrimental to the net
(3) is detrimental to the net

Thus, anyone who puts a counter on a page is saying "I am an idiot" to
all their visitors. A webmaster that does not inform their customers of
this is not doing their job -- whether or not their customer goes ahead
and puts a counter on the page is a different matter.


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