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From solprovi...@apache.org
Subject Re: [users@httpd] A question about the request line and the referer
Date Sat, 02 Aug 2008 16:46:13 GMT
On 8/2/08, Paul Li <paulur@gmail.com> wrote:
>  Some referer pages are "-",  some are other pages in the same website,
>  and still some are pages of other website. If I want to find the
>  users' request history (visiting history), could I just ignore the
>  referer page but only check the request page?
>
>  Btw, why the referer pages are different, like what I asked above,
>  some are "-", some are other pages in either the same or different
>  websites?
>
>  Thanks,
> Paul

The referer is not the last page viewed when someone types an address
into a browser's address bar.  This would create a security issue
(typed URLs should not surrender viewing history) and a functionality
issue (the page in the referer should contain a link to the current
request.)  Analyzing the referer should tell you:
- what images are contained in what pages (and if other websites are
using your images.)
- what pages link to each page.

Note that cache makes Web server logs inaccurate.  Returning to a
previously viewed page may load the page from local cache without
contacting the Web server.  A gateway server can also cache pages and
intercept requests -- companies and ISPs may cache static pages to
reduce bandwidth.

Assuming a page is being loaded from the Web server:

The referer is  "-" if someone types an address into a browser's address bar.
The referer is  "-" if someone uses a Favorite or Bookmark.
The referer is  "-" if someone clicks a link from within a local HTML
file on their computer.
The referer is the URL of the page containing the link if someone
clicks a link from a website on the Internet,
The referer is the URL of the page containing an image or other
immediately downloaded file.

The referer comes from the HTTP Headers of the request.  Anybody using
a tool allowing control of the headers (e.g. telnet, putty,
HyperTerminal) can set the referer.

solprovider

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