[development] Module to Track RSS Subscribers
kb at 2bits.com
Tue Jan 17 14:50:43 UTC 2006
The debate on IP Addresses is a valid one.
My own personal view is that using IPs as a unique identifier is
acceptable in some situations, but totally wrong in others:
An example is where ecommerce forms were using IP address to create a
form id, and if the id is not the same from a POST, an error is
displayed. A user behind one of those proxy pools (remember : AOL,
other ISPs, and entire countries are behind those) could not proceed
with a cart checkout because of that.
However, in statistics, all we are saying is how many unique IPs we
get hits from. It would not matter much if one users is seen as three
IP addresses, since that is the nature of IP addresses. Crawlers do
come from several IP addresses for the same search engine.
Using sessions would be a great idea, except that some visitors do not
have cookies (e.g. crawlers), so this is not a fool proof way of doing
Presently, there is no bullet proof way of identifying a visitor that
would work for all visitors (humans, bots, ...etc.), and we have to
live with that limitation.
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