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[resolved] "Default Browser" user agent reported by SlimStat (14 posts)

  1. GermanKiwi
    Member
    Posted 8 months ago #

    Hi Camu,

    I recently started using StatusCake.com which is a free website monitoring service. They monitor the uptime of your website by using "agents" that load your homepage every so-many minutes.

    They have an FAQ page at http://kb.statuscake.com/how-do-i-exclude-statuscake-from-google-analytics/ which explains how to exclude their agents from a statistics program like Google Analytics (or SlimStat of course).

    They explain that their agents always use a User Agent string of "StatusCake", so I can use this to filter them out according to the User Agent.

    However, on the SlimStat "Right Now" page, I could see the StatusCake entries coming in every few minutes, but SlimStat listed the User Agent string as "Default Browser" rather than "StatusCake".

    So I wrote to StatusCake and asked them about this. I thought they were using the wrong user agent.

    They wrote back to me the following answer:
    "It seems likely that the statistics plugin you are using [SlimStat] is using a PHP Module called "browscap", this module takes user agent strings and then tries to match them to a known list of browsers it has stored. If it can't find a valued match then it will show 'Default Browser' even if more information is provided in the user agent string. I can confirm our monitoring agents are still using the correct user agent string [StatusCake]."

    Can you confirm that SlimStat is using this PHP module? Is there any solution here, to allow SlimStat to report the true user agent string instead of "Default Browser"? This might also be relevant for other cases where the actual user agent is not known by the "browscap" PHP module and it reports "Default Browser" instead - wouldn't it be better for SlimStat to always report the true, actual user agent in every case?

    Thanks!

    http://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-slimstat/

  2. camu
    Member
    Plugin Author

    Posted 8 months ago #

    Hi there,

    yes, what they told you is correct, indeed. I will add a fix to the next version of SlimStat to apply your filters to the user agent BEFORE it's run against browscap. I must say that they did a good job analyzing SlimStat to find what the issue was ;)

    Thank you for pointing this out. Please test the new version, once it's out, and let us know if it worked.

    Camu

  3. GermanKiwi
    Member
    Posted 8 months ago #

    Haha, yeah their answer didn't mean much to me, but I'm glad it makes sense to you! :)

    So will your fix mean that the true user agent will be displayed in the SlimStat reports/tables etc? Eg. on the Right Now page and Overview page? I think this would be the ideal solution to me, that I can always see the actual, true user agent (whatever it is) in the reports on those pages. Not only for StatusCake but for any other user agents too (bots or whatever).

  4. camu
    Member
    Plugin Author

    Posted 8 months ago #

    Yes. In order to optimize the amount of data stored in the database, SlimStat didn't record the actual UA. But for some other functionality that I'm implementing, I had decided to change that (without having to dramatically increase the db size).

    But the UA will be shown as a tooltip, not inline.

  5. GermanKiwi
    Member
    Posted 8 months ago #

    Okay, sounds good I think. I'll look forward to seeing this in a future version! :)

  6. camu
    Member
    Plugin Author

    Posted 8 months ago #

    Contact us if you want to test this in advance.

    http://slimstat.getused.to.it/contact-us/

  7. camu
    Member
    Plugin Author

    Posted 8 months ago #

    Have you had a chance to test this new feature?

  8. GermanKiwi
    Member
    Posted 8 months ago #

    I just tested it now (using SlimStat 3.3), but no joy: when I hover my mouse over the browser icon on the Right Now page (that's the 2nd icon from the left for each entry), the tooltip still says "Browser: Default Browser" for the entries that are coming from the StatusCake monitoring agents. So nothing has changed unfortunately.

    Was this supposed to have changed with version 3.3?

  9. GermanKiwi
    Member
    Posted 8 months ago #

    BTW, what do you think about this idea?

    http://wordpress.org/support/topic/purge-data-based-on-user-agent

    Would be helpful for removing all these entries in the stats from StatusCake!

  10. camu
    Member
    Plugin Author

    Posted 8 months ago #

    The User Agent is only displayed in the Browsers report under Overview, it would be confusing to have it under Right Now in my opinion. Unless more and more people start asking for a change in that direction ;)

    As for the purge request, I have that on my todo list, you should see that implemented soon...

  11. GermanKiwi
    Member
    Posted 8 months ago #

    I actually don't have any Browsers report on my Overview page - I only have Browser reports on my Visitors page - are you sure that I should have it on my Overview page too?

    In any case, I don't see why it would be confusing to have the correct User Agent displayed on the Right Now page. Surely it's better for consistency to have the exact same User Agent names used everywhere? So that if I see a User Agent of "XYZ" on the Overview or Visitors page, I can also see the same User Agent on the Right Now page and it's clear to me that they are the same.

    What *would* be confusing to me, would be to have "Default Browser" showing on the Right Now page, but "XYZ" (whatever the true name is) showing on the other pages - that wouldn't be very meaningful to me. :)

  12. camu
    Member
    Plugin Author

    Posted 8 months ago #

    You make a good point, indeed. And you are right about the report being under the Visitors tab, my bad. I'll do this: I will add an option to choose if you want to see the browser name or the user agent, in the tooltip.

  13. GermanKiwi
    Member
    Posted 8 months ago #

    That sounds like a great solution, thanks! :)

  14. camu
    Member
    Plugin Author

    Posted 7 months ago #

    Added to 3.3.2.

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