Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Browser Stats from asktom...

It was asked "what are the browsers used by users on asktom" not too long ago. I didn't have an easy way to figure that out but said "if someone has a mapping of USER_AGENT to short name", I'd be glad to give it a go.

Alberto Dell'Era was kind enough to create such a mapping for us (MSIE users: please right click that link and save target as... Else that browser gives you a big empty file). This is what is shows for the last month on asktom.oracle.com:


BROWSER_TYPE PCT
-------------------- ---------
MSIE 74.46 %
Firefox 21.35 %
Mozilla 1.34 %
Opera 1.28 %
Netscape .75 %
UNKNOWN .29 %
Safari .27 %
OtherBrowsers .16 %
Konqueror .10 %

9 rows selected.


A big thanks to Alberto as I was just too lazy to do it myself...
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24 Comments:

Blogger Gleisson Henrique said....

74.46%?
Wow one would think that developers/dba would be more likely to use firefox or other open source browser.
Would anybody confess that most of us go to asktom while at work? And that our workplace doesn't really give much choice or space for open source software? I know mine doesn't, not so much for policies at the workplace but for my admin who doesn't give me grants to install anything on my machine.
Look at Netscape! and to think someday that was one of the most popular browser! What does the future of web browsers hold for us ?

Tue Dec 27, 08:11:00 PM EST  

Anonymous DvE said....

I confess.
Why when running on a Windows platform at work go all the way to support something like Firefox when IE is installed by default anyway.

Wed Dec 28, 02:14:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Leo Mannhart said....

same here, at work I'm forced to use MSIE. More interesstingly Firefox is listed on the blacklist of forbidden software and I'm not allowed to install it even so I could do it (from technical point of view).
May be I should visit asktom more often from my home computer ;).

Wed Dec 28, 04:14:00 AM EST  

Blogger Howard J. Rogers said....

Do bear in mind that Opera and Konqueror can all be configured to identify themselves as Internet Explorer, but that IE does not reciprocate.

In a nutshell, it means site statistics will always over-state the prevelance of IE and under-state the existence of those 'other' browsers.

Wed Dec 28, 04:26:00 AM EST  

Blogger Sam said....

I do confess as well that i visit asktom everyday at work and that i am "forced" to use IE6. I do confess as well that i don't visit it from home :) - yes i have a life without Oracle (!) outside the office ! Anyway, thanks for your blog which i envoy reading when i arrive in the morning.

Wed Dec 28, 04:42:00 AM EST  

Blogger Alberto Dell'Era said....

Tom, thanks for answering my question about the browser type distribution on asktom...

I'm surprised by the results as well, I would have expected that the user communities of asktom and the blog were one and the same - it seems not, very strange [btw I'm not convinced by the argument "we browse asktom at work where we use IE", since at work one can easily browse the blog also - unless the proxies block blogger.com and not oracle.com].

A possibility is that some (malicious?) robots masquerade as IE instead of declaring their "robotness" - and since asktom is very popular on google (it pops up on the first page of almost every database-related search, even if you don't use "oracle" as a keywoard), it is a robot favourite.

Wed Dec 28, 05:58:00 AM EST  

Blogger Vijay Sale said....

Hey thanks Tom , I am reader of your tips on the asktom.oracle.com
Its realy helpful to the DBA's like me .
Vijay

Wed Dec 28, 09:14:00 AM EST  

Blogger Joel Garry said....

[btw I'm not convinced by the argument "we browse asktom at work where we use IE", since at work one can easily browse the blog also - unless the proxies block blogger.com and not oracle.com]

Or unless managers walk by and don't like to see blogger on the screen.

Since I also use IE at work and netscrape at home, I wonder how skewed the stats are for these sorts of users? Would that cancel out Howard's nutshell?

multiple meaning word verfication: xbawkwd

Wed Dec 28, 09:45:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Dace said....

Or it may be as simple as - 75% of the people use IE!

No need to make excuses for people using it

Wed Dec 28, 10:20:00 AM EST  

Blogger Marc Soth said....

Tom, that are really good news!
I can remind time were IE had over 95% market share. I've time and can wait. No problem

It's true, on some customer sites, Firefox is forbidden, but I think time will change this

ciao
Marc

Wed Dec 28, 11:16:00 AM EST  

Blogger Lance Hoover said....

I must confess I am surprised that in a technical environment the desktop is so locked down as to keep people from being able to install firefox. I understand the need to limit support of software at the desktop level, but if someone is technically savvy and wants to install something on their machine with no support, then they should be able to.

Other than the support issue, I can't see what 'harm' firefox would cause on a machine that would be above the 'harm' that is being done by IE.

Sounds like I boss I had 10 years ago. Wouldn't let anyone have a local hard drive. Machines would boot from floppies and all storage was on the network. He doesn't work here anymore.

Wed Dec 28, 12:46:00 PM EST  

Blogger Bob B said....

http://news.yahoo.com/s/usatoday/20051227/tc_usatoday/techleaderstellofbooksofferinginsightwisdom

So what are 2 books that influenced you, Tom? Please choose one old and one new :-)

- Bob

Wed Dec 28, 02:39:00 PM EST  

Blogger scubajim said....

You often get extreme lockdown on desk tops at work because it is a support issue. The company doesn't want anything that might cause problems with other applications. (I'm not saying that Firefox does.) Also once an application is installed support often has a difficult time saying no to some Senior VP yelling and screaming like a baby about his browser not working.

It is often a purely defensive move.

Wed Dec 28, 03:26:00 PM EST  

Blogger Joel Garry said....

For me, it's not so much lockdown (I've been some places where it is severe, although normally I get buddy-buddy with the geeks and can do whatever I want), as manners. I'm using other peoples' computers, not as an employee, I wouldn't want to trash them any more than I would want them to screw up my home machine. I also wouldn't want to give them an excuse to blame something other than themselves with all the malware floating about.

I sometimes wonder about this in the About box of IE: Unix version contains software licensed from Mainsoft Corporation. Copyright (c) 1998-1999 Mainsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Mainsoft is a trademark of Mainsoft Corporation.
Oh.

Wed Dec 28, 04:23:00 PM EST  

Blogger Gleisson Henrique said....

dve said
Why when running on a Windows platform at work go all the way to support something like Firefox when IE is installed by default anyway.


You should have put "at work" in bold. You scared me for a second.

Wed Dec 28, 10:02:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Leo Mannhart said....

why locked down to IE
this is not only a support issue (but granted it is easier to just install what comes with the os and with point and click than to think and to know how to install). I can see three points why IE is allowed and firefox not:
1. same as with IBM before: nobody gets fired nowadays because of using/recommending Mircrosoft
2. FUD from Mircrosoft: usually they just count the sheer number of bugs where you mostly can find more bugs on firefox than on IE, but how many bugs are not listed because IE is closed source? and how many big security-holes in IE are not fixed for a long time? and I would think that comparing a security-hole where an attacker can execute malware on your computer to a bug in the rendering-engine is somewhat hmmm "skewed".
3. IE will (normally) not complain if your ssl-connection gets decrypted on the proxy so every bit going in and out is clear-text for surveillance. but do you really think that this people, who are "installing" IE, are smart enough to do the necessary code change in the source code of firefox so the alerting for the "man in the middle attack" is suppressed there also?

Thu Dec 29, 03:05:00 AM EST  

Anonymous DvE said....

gleisson henrique said
... You scared me for a second.


To take away any lingering fear. We run Oracle on HP-UX not Windows.

Thu Dec 29, 03:24:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

I am frequent visitor of your site, also I am using firefox since .8.

I observed your site text of
[Hit Subject Last Updated First Asked Age] table is rendered differently. IE renders more readable, Firefox is little tiny, with both borwser default setting.

It could be just my browser.

Very informative & useful site.

Best regards, Yogesh

Thu Dec 29, 10:32:00 AM EST  

Blogger William Robertson said....

> DvE said....
> To take away any lingering fear. We run Oracle on HP-UX not Windows.


I don't think that is the point. This is about consumer choice. Firefox is good for IE. Apple is good for Microsoft. SQL Server might even be good for Oracle. As consumers we all benefit from having more than one product to chose from. I think what Henrique found scary was not that you might use Windows, but that you might not see why anyone should give a damn whether there is one browser out there or many when, after all, there is one installed by default.

btw I like Firefox's browser tabs, bookmark toolbar, extendable search field, RSS support, and third party extensions and themes. IE has none of these, and appears to have stood still for the last three or four years, as well as being notoriously insecure. But it's nice to have a choice.

Thu Dec 29, 01:13:00 PM EST  

Anonymous seo guy said....

From where your USER_AGENT comes from? I.e. from a http's `USER_AGENT' header from a javascript? In case of the first I think that many of %75 are not alive users but e.g. black hat's bots. asktom ranks pretty well across all search engines ;)

Thu Dec 29, 03:51:00 PM EST  

Anonymous seo guy said....

Oops, sorry for the typo. Must be:
...from a http's `USER_AGENT' header or from a javascript?

Thu Dec 29, 03:55:00 PM EST  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

user agent came from the http headers, if you get Alberto's scripts, you can see the filters we put into place to get rid of them.

The robots are not included in this output - I excluded them from it.

Thu Dec 29, 03:58:00 PM EST  

Anonymous seo guy said....

AFAICS all you excluded are _official_/white bots (they have real, not a faked one USER_AGENT). But there are also black/unofficial bots. They very often fake USER_AGENT for a various reasons (e.g. to hide that they are black ;). It is easy to set any USER_AGENT header from almost any language. This is very visible for old enough doorways , where a possibility that guest is an alive user comes not from a search engine is kinda low but there still ubnormally large count of IE-like user agents in the logs...

Thu Dec 29, 04:16:00 PM EST  

Blogger Gleisson Henrique said....

William Robertson said....

.. I think what Henrique found scary was not that you might use Windows, but that you might not see why anyone should give a damn whether there is one browser out there or many when, after all, there is one installed by default.


I couldn't have said better. But I really think Dve really meant at workstations only . Because that's up for the company to decide whether to support open source or not. For us, users, it's imperative we support open source and other alternatives.

Fri Dec 30, 04:34:00 PM EST  

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