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Glossary

Agent - This is the browser that the visitor is using. Agents may also be automated searchers (called spiders or robots) sent out by search engines to validate the pages of your site. The Agent name may also include the OSname being used by the visitor. The Agent appears in Logs as ‘Mozilla/4.04 (Macintosh; U; PPC).’ (Mozilla is another name for Netscape Navigator. Why is it named Mozilla? This name derives from Godzilla and was Navigator’s code name while it was being developed.)

Bytes Sent - This is the number of bytes sent during a transaction. It is equal to the size of the URL resource plus its header info. It appears in Logs as ‘3617.’ When it is present in a log along with Transfer Time, TR can display performance info about your web server.

Directory - The series of folders that contain a resource. For example, in the URL of ‘http://www.cats.com/ragdoll/feeding/index.html,’ the directory is /ragdoll/feeding/.

DNS - DNS (Domain Name Service) allows one or more names to be assigned to a single IP address. A DNS looks like ‘www.widgets.com’ and is generally more useful than an IP Addresses. By looking at a DNS, you can tell something about it, such as the country it is from and whether it is a commercial (.com), educational (.edu), organization (.org) site, etc.

Error - A transaction that could not be successfully completed due to a client or server error. Errors may occur for many different reasons, including when expired links at your site are used. Errors may appear in your log as code numbers (such as ‘404’) or as descriptions (‘ERR!’).

From - A somewhat obsolete log field which, when present, typically contains the visitor’s e-mail address, which appears in Logs as ‘bart@simpsons.com.’

Hit - A successfully completed transaction. It appears in your log as a code number (such as ‘200’) or as a description (‘OK’).

Host - Similar to Hostname, this is the IP Address or DNS of the computer hosting your web site. If your site’s domain is ‘www.widgets.com,’ then the Host appears in Logs as ‘www.widgets.com.’

Hostname - An IP Address or DNS of the computer visiting your site, which appears in Logs as ‘102.41.13.207’ or ‘www.widgets.com.’

IP Address - An IP (known as “Internet Protocol” to the techies out there) Address is assigned to every computer connected to the internet. Many computers may share the same IP Address if they are getting their access to the Internet via the same computer. An IP address looks similar to ‘102.41.13.207’ and is made up of 4 numbers, separated by dots. Each number may range from zero to 255 in value. Some IP Addresses can be converted to names. A named IP Address is called DNS. DNS looks something like ‘www.widgets.au.’

Method - The HTTP method of request, such as get info from server, which appears in Logs as ‘GET’. Two other methods are ‘PUT,’ which means the server gets info from the visitor and ‘HEAD,’ which is like ‘GET’ except that only an item’s HTTP header info is sent (typically occurs if the item was retrieved from the visitor’s cache).

Path Args - This is associated with a URL or Referrer and is always preceded by a ‘$’; its meaning is site-specific and it appears in Logs as ‘$showcart.’

Referrer - The page that provided the link to the requested URL, which appears in Logs as ‘http://www.catcare.com/ragdoll/index.html.’ This item is of special interest to marketers since it tells you which sites your visitors used to locate your site.

Result Codes - See Status Codes.

Search Args - This is associated with a URL or Referrer and is always preceded by a ‘?’; its meaning is site-specific and it appears in Logs as ‘?db=bumperStumper.db&cart=2899.’

Status Codes - Code numbers that appear in your Logs that tell you whether a file transaction was successful or if an error occurred. Status codes of 2xx or 3xx mean the transaction was successful while 4xx and 5xx B codes indicate some type of error. For a complete list of status codes and their meanings see http://www.w3.org/Protocols/HTTP/HTTP2.html.

Thruput (or Throughput) - A performance statistic that tells you how promptly your web server is able to fulfill the file requests of its visitors. For example, say that a visitor makes a file request at 02:15:18 and your web server successfully completes this request at 02:15:25. The file request involved sending 21,000 bytes. For this particular request, your web server would have a thruput of “3,000 bytes per second” (21,000 bytes divided by 7 seconds). This means that for each second required by the server to fulfill the file request, it was able to send an average of 3,000 bytes of that request. Higher numbers indicate better performance, while lower numbers may indicate your server is having trouble keeping up with the demands placed on it.

Transaction - The entries in your Logs. The entries represent file transactions between a web server and its visitors.

Transfer Time - The time that elapses between a visitor’s request for a URL and the web server’s completed sending of that URL. It appears in Logs as ‘121’ (either 1/60s or thousandths of a second) or ’00:00:02'.

URL - This is the resource being requested from your site, such as an HTML page or image file, which appears in Logs as ‘http://www.aardvarks-vacationworld.com/antfarm/tunnel1.gif.’

User - The name of the remote user if authentication was required.

Violation - A transaction that could not be successfully completed due to an unauthorized or forbidden request. It may appear in your log as a code number (either ‘401’ or ‘403’) or as a description (‘PRIV’).

Previous: Appendix A: Log Formats

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