I use Google’s Analytics system for several web sites I run, but find it a bit cumbersome for just getting a quick overview of what’s happening. For years, I’ve used my friend Salvatore’s visitors program to analyze web logs. It claims to be a “fast web log analyzer” and it is blazing fast – so fast that for all the sites I run, it only takes a few seconds to process a year or two’s worth of log files. For instance:
3724130 lines processed in 68 seconds 55 invalid lines, 0 blacklisted referers
And that’s not a particularly fast server that it’s running on, and of course it’s running with a high “nice” value. Visitors is probably not suited to huge sites, as that’s its only mode of operation – it doesn’t save data – but it’s a great option for everything but the biggest of log files.
Using it every day, there are a few things that I wanted to improve or tweak, so with Salvatore’s permission, I went ahead and put the code under version control over at Google Code: http://code.google.com/p/visitors/