Geoff Chappell - Software Analyst
No pages at an obscure technical site are ever really hot, but a decent selection of them attract more than 100 views per month. There are more than two thousand pages at this site. A small proportion have been written for a general readership, which here means moderately advanced Windows users. The overwhelming majority of pages here are very detailed descriptions of programming functionality in Windows. They are the sort of thing that may be the key to completing a Windows program, DLL or driver, or even to knowing what might be feasible to have a Windows program, DLL or driver do, but they are beyond arcane to everyone else. I am astonished that any of these pages get looked at even once a day.
Still, since I do trouble from time to time to extract some statistics from the server logs, it is no extra trouble to present them a bit neatly and post them here. Anyway, since the overall rationale of the site is that other people’s software should be open for inspection and criticism, it is as well that my own site should be an open book.
Unfortunately for this presentation of statistics, the hosting service for this website enabled HTTPS for it in May 2017. I didn’t ask for it and I can’t see how the site could ever make productive use of it. I doubt it does any readers any good, either. Against doing nothing welcome, it does have the unwelcome effect that statistics are collected separately for access with and without HTTPS. In the absence of any obvious redirection from one method of access to the other, it may be reasonable to reconcile the two sets of visits per page just by addition. But the corresponding counts have to be found in each set before they can be added. Doing that by hand is suddenly more than a brief diversion. Having to automate it leaves me resenting that I have to. So the presentation of statistics stops.
Research and writing for this website took a break for a little more than five years while all my intellectual output was the property of an employer (who anyway was never able to provide working conditions that left a committed worker any spare time for research of any quality). The break ended in 2016, first by being less committed so that I had spare time at nights and on weekends, and then as a full-time sabbatical on the way to rebuilding a consultancy. Not until the year’s end, however, did I review the logs to look closely for what of my new work was getting read. The results are more than a little discouraging. Nothing that was truly new in the year had yet reached the admittedly arbitrary cut-off of 100 views per month. Clearly I’m not in the business of writing for the masses, but my first thought on reviewing the year was to wonder whether I should remain in the business of writing at all.
Research and writing for this website had stopped at the end of 2010 while I took stock of what it’s good for, how it could be continued and whether I should want to continue it. As part of that I continued looking at the statistics for another two years.
October 2010 was for many years the last month in which truly new material had been added to this website.
Raw logs do go further back but I didn’t start examining them systematically until the beginning of 2009.