[pydotorg-www] Analytics

Mats Wichmann mats at wichmann.us
Mon Apr 26 01:43:34 CEST 2010

On 04/25/2010 08:02 AM, Michael Foord wrote:

> I'm not aware of any genuine privacy concerns raised by the use of
> google analytics. If anyone wants to prevent their browsing being
> recorded by google analytics (or other similar services) they will
> already block it or have switched off javascript altogether.

The fact that Google has their fingers in everything you do is
plenty of reason for some people.  My concern is only around the
performance issue.  You can't reasonably turn off javascript any
more, too much stuff doesn't work; indeed some javascript is
truly useful, like the Firefox AdBlock plugin. I'm experimenting
with blocking the download of the file analytics uses by messing
with the name resolution, which I guess is the most suggested
method.  When you have  a poor connection, the extra set of round
trips to first look up google-analytics.com, then get the bit of
javascript, then have it do its work is not only noticable,
but significant. Especially since it seems things to do with
Google seem to suffer an extra delay both here at home and
especially at an internet cafe I visit when I can't stand the
dismal performance of having to depend on the satellite link.
Many's the time I sit looking at a blank browser window for many
seconds while the statusbar shows me it's resolving
google-analytics.  I know my case is both unusual and anecdotal,
but I really suggest not using this service unless we have a
really compelling reason - some very specific stuff we're looking
to mine.  Using a bounded capture period to understand how the
website is being used, to drive a redesign/improvement is a good
reason. Just wanting the data because it's cool to have is not...

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