Web Paint-by-Number Forum
Topic #268: Logged-in counter
By Joel Lynn (furface1)

#1: Joel Lynn (furface1) on Dec 28, 2010

Sorry if this has been asked before, but is there any place on the site to see how many users are logged in at the time? If not, I think it would be interesting to see if it's not too much trouble to add.

Jan, your work on this site is greatly appreciated.
#2: Gator (Gator) on Dec 29, 2010
Sort of. You can go to the Users list and sort by Last Login to get a general idea.
#3: Joel Lynn (furface1) on Dec 29, 2010
Gator, that's interesting, but I was thinking of a counter like I've seen on some on-line games.
#4: Joe (infrapinklizzard) on Dec 30, 2010
Joel, any count of users would be an estimate at best. Unlike many games, there is no constant flow of information back and forth between the user and the server. Also, logging out is neither needed nor required. Sessions are time-limited (or possibly time-out limited), but that time is counted in hours (many of them). And then there are those who are using cookies rather than session IDs...

There could be an estimate. If you guess that the average user spends x time on a puzzle, and also that they leave right after looking at a page, then one half the number of users that have accessed the server in the past x time would approximate the user count. But it would be a very rough guess.
#5: Jan Wolter (jan) on Oct 22, 2011
Right. The "number of users logged in" thing is a bit of a lie on any website. Where there is a constant interaction between webserver and browser you can kind of tell, but a person working on a PBN puzzle my be sitting at his or her computer for hours without webpbn.com hearing a peep from them. Can't tell if they are still there unless they do something like save a snapshot. I could build stuff in to cause it to "ping" the server from time to time, so we'd know they were still there, but is it worth extra server load to do that? Probably not.

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