Andre's Blog
Perfection is when there is nothing left to take away
Viewing all items in XML reports

Those who tried XML reports have noticed that there are no links at the bottom of the reports if the number of the items, like hosts or referrers is greater than the configured top number of items. The reason for this is that, unlike with HTML reports, it does not make much sense to generate the same XML data twice (i.e. once in the top items report and another time in the report listing all items). I have been experimenting with various approaches to this problem and finally have found a solution I like.

XML reports in the next release will have a link at the bottom, similar to the link in the HTML reports. Clicking the link will expand the existing report to show the remaining report items. Expanded report can then be collapsed back to the initial top view by hitting the Esc key.

My only problem with this approach was that large XML report files would take much longer to process in a browser and would require much more memory than equivalent equivalent HTML reports because XSL transformation requires the entire XML document converted into a DOM tree before the resulting HTML tree can be created.

After some thinking, I decided to let administrators choose how much data they want in reports and added new configuration parameters to control the maximum number of items in the reports listing all items. New parameters are called MaxHosts, MaxReferrers, MaxUsers, etc. and will be assigned some large value by default.

Adding links to display all items will complete the XML reporting functionality. Hopefully, this last piece will nudge more people towards abandoning HTML reports in favor of more flexible XML/XSL format.

Comments:
Posted Thu Jan 8 22:52:33 EST 2009 by PaulB

Hello Andre,

I have been looking for a 'better' Webalizer for the past week and discovered yours and 'Webalizer Xtended'. I have been trying both (for only a couple days so far) and have to say both have features I like. That's typical... I want my cake but want to eat it too! :D Heh... In truth, I really like the idea of using XML for reports as that fits in with my plan to use XML for the backend Admin system for a client site I am developing. This is my first real project in over a year after an accident. So I wanted to say thanks for helping make my first project in some time, at least a little easier and more professional. I'm operating on a tiny budget (I'm sure you know how that is), but it does feel good to get back into it again (though I am also a little... apprehensive, of course). :)

I am looking forward to trying the XML reporting when I am ready (not sure exactly when that will be. I have a lot yet to do). I am also happy to contribute what I can whenever I can. :)

I will let you know how I go. Thanks again, and I hope you and your family had a great Christmas.

 

Cheers,

Paul.

Posted Fri Jan 9 00:15:29 EST 2009 by Andre

Thank you, Paul. I intend to release updated XML reports in the next couple of weeks. All feedback will be greately appreciated!

Andre

Posted Sun Jan 11 04:20:30 EST 2009 by Anonymous

Thanks Andre. :)

No hurry. ;) I've decided to rebuild my development server and install an enterprise level linux (either RHEL or CentOS probably). Windows is just too difficult to use for a (L/W)AMPP dev server for several reasons. I'll continue to use XP for my development workstation as I have licensed IDE and other dev tools for Windows.

However, I do intend to continue trying to use Windows to fully simulate a common Web host environment to develop complex sites. I like a challenge. :) But I have a job that needs to be finished this month (I hope) so that takes priority.

I will still be happy to give your Webalizer a good test and report back my findings. :)

Thanks again, and good luck.

Paul.

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