Session variables (was: [thelist] Pop-up when user leaves site.)

deke web at
Tue May 22 05:07:05 CDT 2001

On 21 May 2001, at 19:08, Elfur Logadottir posted a message which said:

> hold on, why do I have to be lying if I say that 44 people are visiting my
> website now?
> are you saying that there's no way to count that?


There's no dining room at a website - it's all carryout. There 
aren't even any *pages* at a website. Your browser builds 
the pages from the instructions in HTML files and GIF files 
and JPG files, etc. 

If I grab a page from SiteA at 2:00, another at 2:04, and
another at 2:08, that *might* mean that I spend 4 minutes
per page, and I was busy reading their pages from 2:00 to

Or I might be watching television. I look at each page for 3
seconds, decide there's nothing of interest on that page, and
click on a link to check out another page, and go back to 
television, while I wait for another page to arrive. Hell, that's
one of the reasons I like WebTV so much. When I use the
Windows puter or the Linux puter, I don't get a TV picture in 
the corner of the screen to watch while waiting for bloated
pages to be retrieved and rendered.

And the webmaster has *no* idea whether someone was
at his site for the eight minutes between the first and last
click plus another four minutes afterwards, or if I was 
looking at his pages for a total of nine seconds.


> what about session variables?
> *the puzzled one*
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 "The church is near but the road is icy; 
  the bar is far away but I will walk carefully." 
                            -- Russian Proverb

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