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RE[5]: Feature Request:Forum Topic Views Counter!

Martijn

Bots could be countered for the most part by looking at past projects though. phpBB is a popular forum system that counts views and they are getting pretty accurate results after filtering out 45 different bots [1]. NNF could easily take over this list.

The StackExchange question on this subject [2] is interesting to look a too. The advice their boils down to:

1. Create a user-agent blocklist, like phpBB has, but possibly use a bigger dataset such as the database by robotstxt.org [3] or botsvsbrowsers.com [4].
2. Ignore all user-agents sporting the words `bot`, `slurp`, `spider`, `crawl`, `archiver`, and `facebook`.
3. Use JavaScript to instantly exclude most of the bots going around.
4. Create a honeypot to collect more bot user-agents.

Most of this feels like it would make for an extreme bloat in the NNF source-code though.

Another problem (that I just thought of) is that NNF would need to introduce some sort of sessions system otherwise many valid users will inflate the counter as well: I will be counted when I read page 1 of a thread, again on page 2, again on page 3, then I might write a reply and after hitting the reply button I would be counted again. So even excluding bots this will be a problem.

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[1]: https://github.com/phpbb/phpbb/blob/21e55ea6d23c94cbbcd672dcf31c939dd7ef08e9/phpBB/install/install_install.php#L2102-L2148 (Latest master commit, as of today)
[2]: http://webmasters.stackexchange.com/questions/11669/what-is-the-best-way-to-exclude-bots-from-view-counts

:: @Martijn added on 08 Jun ’14 · 09:38

[3]: http://www.robotstxt.org/db.html
[4]: http://www.botsvsbrowsers.com/category/1/index.html

Your friendly neighbourhood moderators: Kroc, Impressed, Martijn