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Web Analytics: Background

Page history last edited by editor 7 years, 10 months ago



Foundational Knowledge


Basics: What happens when you type google.com?



  • Client: A user types www.google.com
  • It is read by DNS server and converted into a machine format
  • Your computer's address is tracked with your IP address to be able to return back information
  • The message then gets sent to internet routers
  • Finally, routers send the message to the designate server (in this case - of google) after reading the message:
  • Servers open the message and read (say http://www.google.com) and send information back. / usually implies a standard text file (html, css, php etc) such as home.html.
  • Servers then send back the information to the IP address that sent the message, also tagging it with its own IP address
  • Connection closes, icon stops spinning; HTML is static state l other languages continue to access the server (make subsequent calls - ex Facebook message window)
  • Website closes


Getting started with web-hosting

  • Get domain Name
  • Choose web-hosting company; company gives you DNS server address
  • Tell registrar what your DNS servers are, go to the account page and type in your DNS server address
  • Implement the website






IP Address

It is a numerical label assigned to each device (e.g., computer, printer) participating in a computer network that uses the Internet Protocol for communication. An IP address serves two principal functions: host or network interface identification and location addressing. Its role has been characterized as follows: "A name indicates what we seek. An address indicates where it is. A route indicates how to get there


DNS Server

A record:                

  • domain name -- IP address A
  • authoritative (A)

CName record:

  • map one domain name to another fully qualified domain name
  • - pros: avoids problems when the first domain name is changed 
  • - cons: latency time is longer       


Virtual Private Servers (VPS)

  • creates virtual cores that can handle simultaneously multiple tasks
  • get a root and; might coexist with others in the same machine (allocated resources - bandwidth limitations)


Platforms to transform data

  • SSH
  • SFTP
  • Fugu
  • Putty - free


HTML format



         <title> hello, world </title>



          hello, world!!!!!




CSS format

<!DOCTYPE html

       PUBLIC "-//WRC//DTD XHTML 1.0 transitional/EN"



<html xmlns= "http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">



          <style type="text/css">


                  body {background: #fff;}



             <title> hello, world </title>



               hello world






  • Can also hash - by specifying style file rather than including it in here.
  • Ex: <link href="/styles.css" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" />
  • Pros: if you put it in sourcecode users have to go through it again and again when they open other pages within this website; if it is linked (hashed) then they don't have to read through it again, it is available
  • Cons: For first page, there is extra latency; also need to download index.html before it can download all the other files such as style


Libraries: Yahoo! UI Library (YUI)

- for Javascript and CSS

- starting point

- helps to have consistent aesthetics in different browsers


Forms - Basic YUI input codes

  • Text Fields

<input name="email" type="text" />

  • Password Fields

<input name="password" type="password" />

  • Hidden Fields

<input name="id" value="123" />

  • Checkboxes

<input checked="checked" name="remember" type="checkbox" />

  • Radio Buttons

<input name="gender" type="radio" value="F" />
<input name="gender" type="radio" value="M" />

  • Drop-Down Menus

<select name="state">

<option value=""></option>

<option value="MA"></option>

<option value="NY"></option>






Apache has been the most popular HTTP server software. Apache supports a variety of features, many implemented as compiled modules which extend the core functionality. These can range from server-side programming language support to authentication schemes. Some common language interfaces support Perl, Python, Tcl, and PHP.


# www.cs75.net

<VirtualHost *:80>

CustomLog logs/www.cs75.net-access_log common
DocumentRoot /home/cscie75/srv/www/www.cs75.net/html
ErrorLog logs/www.cs75.net-error_log
ServerAdmin help@cs75.net
ServerAlias cs75.net
ServerName www.cs75.net

<VirtualHost *:443>

CustomLog logs/www.cs75.net-access_log common
DocumentRoot /path/to/htdocs
ErrorLog logs/www.cs75.net-error_log
ServerAdmin dmalan@harvard.edu
ServerAlias cs75.net
ServerName www.cs75.net
SSLCertificateChainFile /path/to/gd_bundle.crt
SSLCertificateFile /path/to/cs75.crt
SSLCertificateKeyFile /path/to/cs75.key
SSLEngine on


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