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Automatic Installation tracking


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Jefficus

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Registered: 05/26/04
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An interesting point was made in the comments for the current poll. When a potential new user is investigating GeekLog, how do you find out what kind of proliferation it is getting. Sure a billion people may have downloaded it, but how many are actually using it? And for those who are using it, how many sites are they building with it?

Of course, there is the forum for announcing your spiffy new site, but how many people use that? And does anybody bother announcing when they STOP using GeekLog?

Why not add a feature to the core that sends a ping to GeekLog central with site url, site name and creator's email address once a day or once a week or something like that. Then you could do some really cool stats about who the major users are, how long they've been using it, etc. You could also track when a site stops pinging and get a sense of when GeekLog gets removed as well. And if you were interested, you could follow up with an email to the creator asking (for information purposes only) why GeekLog got taken out.

It would also provide an awesome directory of example sites that would assist the community in exploring each other's work and getting inspiration for new things that can be done with the platform. Of course, if you do that, you might want to add a site blurb descriptor to the ping package, so that the awesome directory has more to show than just URLs.

And obviously, this feature would have to put into the core. If it was a plugin, you wouldn't pick up anywhere near as much information, since somebody has to care enough to install it in the first place.

And of couse, a config.php setting would allow this system to be turned off, but it should be on by default.

Just a thought.

Jefficus
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jmichael

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Great idea.

While I was looking for a package to use, I also played with Drupal briefly. It has a feature to (optionally) 'phone home' and get listed on the drupal.org site.

They also have this cool feature where you can log into other Drupal sites using a "global" account, i.e. you don't have to register with each site to log in.
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Jefficus

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I like the idea of having a GeekLog "passport" account. There might even be some other extension-like features that could be added once we had the "ping-home" functionality up and running.

Jefficus


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mthomas

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Registered: 04/18/04
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It would need to be optional.

The Ping, would either need to run from a cron (or task scheduler in windows) if its recurring. It would probably be best to make a few differant plugins. 1. Install/Uninstall. 2. Manual Update 3. Cron based?

It would be done with a form post or get.

The info passed would be minimal It doesn't need to be much.

The site owner would need to register at the HOST site.

Then a post call would be sent when the plugin is installed. And another when uninstalled.
to make it less intrusive it could be a registeration screen that asks if its ok to send the site_url to the host site, and asks if its ok to list them publicly (default would be no) that was Internal site of companies would not get posted on the net.

Information to be passed:
plugin_name
site_url
installed (true or false) (false would mean an uninstall)

To prevent a attack by filling the harddrives (expanding db file). The Host machine would just overwrite the pervious install or uninstall record with a new timestamp.

We could set it to send a registered username on the host as well to track for spamming.
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Jefficus

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I agree that it should be optional, but not that it should be a plugin. By requiring the user to conciously go through the process of adding the plugin, you eliminate much of the benefit of creating a great resource. That's why I think it should be a core component.

Of course, it must be optional - the site creator must be able to turn off the tool via a simple config.php setting. Of course, now that I think aboutit, it could be implemented initially as a plugin (to allow people to retrofit it to existing installations) and then migrated into core for a subsequent release. (That also allows us to defer the debate on that point until later :-)

I agree that the owner should have to register somewhere first but it should be a requirement for downloading the plugin - not something that is done later. Otherwise this creates a barrier to collecting the information. But, if downloading the GeekLog system (or the plugin) itself required registration, then you'd already be set - there's already a registered account involved.

To be useful, I really think you need to add a "blurb" field to the information packet. It will make the directory much more usable. Limit the field size to 255 characters and you won't make an appreciable difference to the packet bandwidth.

And I like your over-write proposal for minimizing flood-style attacks.

This has been an opinion, brought to you by Jefficus.


This has been an opinion, brought to you by the fine people at Jefficus World.
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jmichael

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Here's a bit from the Drupal configuration:
Using this your Drupal site can "call home" and add itself to the Drupal directory. If you want it to add itself to a different directory server you can change the Drupal XML-RPC server setting -- but the directory server has to be able to handle Drupal XML. To get all your site information listed go to the site configuration page and set the site name, the e-mail address, the slogan, and the mission statement.


Basically, it works via XML-RPC and yes, it requires some sort of cron to work. I just check my installation of Drupal and this feature is actually an optional 'module' (i.e. 'plug-in' in GL-speak). BUT, a whole bunch of modules come with the Drupal package and this is one of them. It does NOT need to be installed separately.

Found this on drupal.org
http://drupal.org/node/view/7857#11962

Distributed Authentication. While MT has implemented their TypeKey centralized registration system as a solution to the comment spam issue, each Drupal site not only has onsite registration and comment moderation, but also has a distributed authentication system with drupal.module. Any user registered on Drupal site X which has drupal.module enabled, can login to any other Drupal site Y using drupal.module with their username and password. For example, a registered member "user" at drupal.org can login in elsewhere with username "user@drupal.org." Someone with the username "user" at mysite.com can log onto drupal.org with "user@mysite.com." Drupal.module can also ping drupal.org via XML-RPC; to see many sites that support Drupal distributed login, visit Sites that use Drupal.


The modules are named "drupal.module" and "ping.module" if you want to go searching on drupal.org.
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jmichael

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Jefficus - about including a "blurb field": Drupal will only accept directory entries that have a site name and description set up. You're right, a directory with no further information doesn't make much sense.

"Drupal.org refuses to list sites that have no slogan or site description set; this is documented at several places but apparently goes unnoticed."
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mthomas

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you eliminate much of the benefit of creating a great resource. That's why I think it should be a core component.

I'm not disagreeing with you, I'm saying that most things in GL start as plugins and get integrated after.
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Jefficus

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I'm not disagreeing with you, I'm saying that most things in GL start as plugins and get integrated after.


It took me a while, but I understand and agree. (I changed my prev post after re-reading it.)
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