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Author Topic: For forum nostalgics - how data show forum evolution  (Read 412 times)
DdmrDdmr
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April 20, 2018, 02:17:57 PM
Merited by digaran (5), redsn0w (3), mprep (2), LFC_Bitcoin (2), seoincorporation (2), BitHodler (2), TMAN (2), RJX (2), marlboroza (1), free-bit.co.in (1)
 #1

Being rather new here, I wondered how the forum was like in the past. I’ve read some comments made by nostalgics on the matter, but me being me, I tried to look at it from what data could bring in, lacking forum age myself to have any sound opinion.

I’ve seen the general forum stats (https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=stats), and thought that it would be a way to compare forum evolution. If only I could get my hands on data from previous years to compare…
Well I managed to get hold of it. What I can compare now are forum stats from snapshots taken roughly at one year intervals (I can’t get the exact day and month for every year, so I got the closest possible). This way, I can compare data from 2018 back to 2012. Not bad since I believe forum dates back to 2011.

The final output is enlightening. Also, at the end of my post, I've included a section about top posters, which I figure will amuse people who have been around the forum for some time…




1- Bitcointalk overall statistics evolution

I’ve selected from the forum stats those indicators which I consider most significant to compare. I’ve added them all to a single table, and then drawn a graph of each indicator.
The exponential growth of members is amazing since 2012. Some of the years double or triple the previous, although bot accounts may weigh in heavily lately. Consequently, the number of posts has followed a similar pattern of growth.
Posts per day has gone up a lot since last year, but proportionally, increments between 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 were larger in terms percentage.

Online per day decreases year after year, but to be honest, I don’t quite understand how this indicator is constructed.

I would also like to see the amount of "active" users. We could argue the definition of active, but that's no the issue now, Maybe on another post ...











2- Bitcoin Top 10 Boards evolution

Apart from the evolution in number of posts, what’s interesting is how the ranking evolves over time. For example, back in 2012 the Bitcoin Discussion was ranked number 1, but was debunked by Newbies the following year and then by Announcements (altcoins), ranking now only fourth.
Some topics are completely wiped of the top 10 ranks like miming and goods.





3- Bitcoin Top 9 Boards Posters evolution

Yes, the official stats show 10, but 9 fits better on screen, so 9 it is..

For each of the dates where I drew data from, I’ve compiled the summary of user profiles of the top 9 posters at the time. The profiles are ordered from left to right (and top to bottom), and are an image of the profile around the date used as reference for each dataset. Direct Links to current profiles are added after the image (note that image is historical and profile current).

It’s interesting to see how Activity was not a concept present in 2012-2013, so I figure the whole ranking systems was perhaps just based on posts back then.
Theymos was in the top 9 posters back in 2012. Hilariusandco was a top poster in 2015, being Staff back then, and stays on the list as a Global Moderator from 2016 onwards.
Phinnaeus Gage is still on the top 9 posters this year, and was number one for three years in a row, but has been inactive since February 2017. Lauda get’s in to the top 9 in 2017 and scales up in 2018 to top 3.

And so on…


a) 20/04/2018


Links:   
1. Amph            https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=99297
2. Philipma1957    https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=64507
3. Lauda      https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=101872
4. BADecker      https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=149737
5. ChartBuddy      https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=110685
6. Phinnaeus Gage  https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=24792
7. Deisik          https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=156665
8. Gleb Gamow      https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=349097
9. Hilariousandco  https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=164822



b) 30/05/2017


Links (current profile)
1. Amph   https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=99297
2. Philipma1957   https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=64507
3. ChartBuddy   https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=110685
4. Phinnaeus Gage   https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=24792
5. Lauda   https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=101872
6. adamstgBit   https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=23281
7. Cypherdoc   https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=8389
8. Balthazar   https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=23324
9. Hilariousandco   https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=164822



c) 13/04/2016


Links (current profile)
1. Amph   https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=99297
2. ChartBuddy   https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=110685
3. Phinnaeus Gage   https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=24792
4. Cypherdoc   https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=8389
5. Balthazar   https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=23324
6. adamstgBit   https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=23281
7. Hilariousandco   https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=164822
8. Smoothie   https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=25960
9. DeathAndTaxes   https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=41048


d) 22/04/2015


Links (current profile)
1. Phinnaeus Gage   https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=24792
2. Cypherdoc   https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=8389
3. Balthazar   https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=23324
4. DeathAndTaxes   https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=41048
5. adamstgBit   https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=23281
6. Hilariousandco   https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=164822
7. Smoothie   https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=25960
8. ChartBuddy   https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=110685
9. Amph   https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=99297


e) 03/04/2014


Links (current profile)
1. Phinnaeus Gage   https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=24792
2. DeathAndTaxes   https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=41048
3. Cypherdoc   https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=8389
4. Myrkul   https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=4602
5. Smoothie   https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=25960
6. adamstgBit   https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=23281
7. Balthazar   https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=23324
8. Come-from-Beyond   https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=46556
9. John (John K.)   https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=31288


f) 07/05/2013


Links (current profile)
1. Phinnaeus Gage   https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=24792
2. DeathAndTaxes   https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=41048
3. Myrkul   https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=4602
4. Cypherdoc   https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=8389
5. Stephen Gornick   https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=2228
6.  Chaang Noi (Goat) ช้างน้อย   https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=44233
7. StgSpike   https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=10502
8. Smoothie   https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=25960
9. FreeMoney   https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=381


g)25/03/2012


Links (current profile)
1. DeathAndTaxes   https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=41048
2. Kiba   https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=491
3. MoonShadow   https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=643
4. FreeMoney   https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=381
5. Phinnaeus Gage   https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=24792
6. Cypherdoc   https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=8389
7. Matthew N. Wright   https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=24749
8. StgSpike   https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=10502
9. Theymos   https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=35

 

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mdayonliner
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April 20, 2018, 02:40:34 PM
 #2

I wonder, do you work in IBM as a data analyst  Grin

Hey good work mate. Keep it up.

So the golden times are....

Total members: 2,031,326 ( I can not say 2018, need a yearly breakdown)
Total posts: 35,104,178 (again I can not say 2018, need a yearly breakdown)
Total topics: 1,055,241 (Need a yearly breakdown)
Average registration per day: 464 (The best year is 2018 so far)
Average post per day: 8,525 (The best year is 2018 so far)
Average topics per day: 343 (Again 2018 is the best year so far)
Total board: 239 (I guess need a yearly breakdown)
Average online per day: 476 (2013 is the best year so far)

I hope I am reading right?

I could not stand the lies against me anymore. I can not prove them wrong too. It's better I live in peace.
So, I am willingly locking mdayonliner. Thank you BitcoinTalk. Be addictive, be a Bitcoiner.
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April 20, 2018, 03:51:39 PM
 #3

I hope I am reading right?

Yes, your reading is correct.. but many would argue the term "best"  and kind of replace it for "worst" (best year of posts may be worst year for getting to the posts you're actually interested in ...).

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April 20, 2018, 05:31:32 PM
 #4

I hope I am reading right?

Yes, your reading is correct.. but many would argue the term "best"  and kind of replace it for "worst" (best year of posts may be worst year for getting to the posts you're actually interested in ...).

So, maybe, in conclusion, we can say today we have many "noise" here on the forum.
I've been here for a long while, and yes, It has changed a lot. I still remember my very first publication, back in 2014, and that was about how to build a server. The forum used to be a place where you can learn about programming, help others and so.
Besides, the discussions in the political section, even in Bitcoin discussion were used to be passionate and truly interesting, when now are just noise and more noise.

But this is normal, I'm afraid, this is the normal evolution when something has new and new incomers each day, and when the will of those new incomers is to earn money o scam people.
Anyway I'm glad to have people like you around, DdmrDdmr, it is always going to be noise, but, in between, you can always find some jewelry.

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April 20, 2018, 10:00:07 PM
 #5

Don't get me wrong,but :
Ever since the merit system has been introduced,haven't the number of threads like these increased from 0 to infinity? No one ever even bothered to visit these boards and now all of sudden.. Huh I don't know if this is good or bad. Yeah the quality of the posts are potentially increasing but this would become a easy method of trolling... Sad

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April 20, 2018, 10:31:52 PM
 #6

Don't get me wrong,but :
Ever since the merit system has been introduced,haven't the number of threads like these increased from 0 to infinity? No one ever even bothered to visit these boards and now all of sudden.. Huh I don't know if this is good or bad. Yeah the quality of the posts are potentially increasing but this would become a easy method of trolling... Sad

Actually, this thread is not about the merit system, but forum statistics. The basic idea is to see how much the core forum meta components have shifted over time: users, posts, how focus of attention has moved from one board to another and so on. It is a historical perspective, and not one that kicks off after the merit system was introduced. We are after all in the meta section...

I can’t really find many post like this one at all. Don’t get me wrong this time, but there’s no triviality in the making, so that’s likely to be the reason.

Can’t see the trolling side to it either. Rest asure though that if I detect my posts becoming non-interest, I really can shift my attention to other things in life just as easily.

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April 20, 2018, 10:47:48 PM
 #7

Thank you for your hard work. what is disturbing for me is the average online per day. but I think you didn't know that members disable their online status intentionally. you should ask theymos to provide that data.

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April 20, 2018, 11:16:55 PM
 #8

Actually, this thread is not about the merit system, but forum statistics.
That's what they all said Undecided
The basic idea is to see how much the core forum meta components have shifted over time: users, posts, how focus of attention has moved from one board to another and so on. It is a historical perspective, and not one that kicks off after the merit system was introduced. We are after all in the meta section...

I can’t really find many post like this one at all. Don’t get me wrong this time, but there’s no triviality in the making, so that’s likely to be the reason.

Can’t see the trolling side to it either. Rest asure though that if I detect my posts becoming non-interest, I really can shift my attention to other things in life just as easily.
I read your post,was very informative yes. And you're/may be right this post is different than others. Though I applaud you for all the time and effort you spent on doing this,my main point was not to discourage you specifically.
What I was highlighting was the fact that,after the merit system had been implemented, people started making these sort of analysis,related to this forum. These analysis is helpful for some people,and the person who makes these data analysis receives a few merit(because they rightfully deserve it),so what I am focusing on is,people will use this method just to earn merits,which is bad.

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April 20, 2018, 11:48:09 PM
 #9

Theymos should hire you as some kind of forum data overseer  Cheesy

The stat of daily active users really did catch my eye. I mean, the forum total of registered users grew 20 fold in five years, while the average of active users fell more than 50% (?!). Thas's amusing at the very least!

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April 20, 2018, 11:50:52 PM
Last edit: April 21, 2018, 09:48:52 PM by BitHodler
 #10

What I was highlighting was the fact that,after the merit system had been implemented, people started making these sort of analysis,related to this forum. These analysis is helpful for some people,and the person who makes these data analysis receives a few merit(because they rightfully deserve it),so what I am focusing on is,people will use this method just to earn merits,which is bad.
I do agree that posting these breakdowns of statistics have started after the merit system implementation, but isn't that what this system is set up for? Merit should incentivize people to do this, and it happens.

People putting time and effort in creating these threads and posts stimulates others to do so as well, because effort and time are being rewarded with merit, and that's something they are rightfully chasing now.

Shitposts won't be rewarded with merit, so these will eventually fade, where quality and time consuming posts will get rewarded, we'll be seeing these more. Result is a quality boost in the long run.

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April 21, 2018, 03:13:12 PM
 #11

<...>
what is disturbing for me is the average online per day. but I think you didn't know that members disable their online status intentionally. you should ask theymos to provide that data.

The average online per day indicator is the one that beats me. I can't suss our how it’s calculated internally. If it represent users, the figure is too measly to be real (196 users now days on average per day?). If it is users/day/hour it would make a bit more sense, but 4.704 (196*24) users per day is still pretty small. Perhaps it’s a trick indicator waiting for debate?

Users voluntarily disabling online status (I do that for one) may play a part in number reduction over the years for this indicator, but my guess is that it is likely just a show/hide feature for others, while the actual session initial and end date and times should still be the base to derive this data. Therefore, real count of active users could be performed, in theory, regardless of the status.

I just went over the Beginners & Help section and spotted about 50 online (more or less distinct) users in the first page of threads. That would be nearly a quarter of what the official stats reports if it is really a per day indicator. Strange …

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April 21, 2018, 03:36:20 PM
 #12

<...>
The stat of daily active users really did catch my eye. I mean, the forum total of registered users grew 20 fold in five years, while the average of active users fell more than 50% (?!). Thas's amusing at the very least!

Yes, that is weird, that is why I can't make heads or tails of it as I just stated posted on my previous post.

There’s a post by mazdasunfun (https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=3333773.msg34863787#msg34863787) who is scraping all user profiles (so is Vod) and has posted that, of the first 900K users, 70% are brand new (data pulling together is still in progress). The 900K users were created around end of 2016 from what I can see from my stats posted in this thread. The fact that 70% of the accounts up to then are still newbies mean that the proportion of probable bot created accounts (and nuked) was already high back then (I’ve seen comments of bots accounts being created on the forum back in 2015).

While these accounts should not affect average users per day indicators, they would affect average logged-in time (which is incidentally not a published indicator in the stats).

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April 21, 2018, 04:07:02 PM
 #13

<...>
What I was highlighting was the fact that,after the merit system had been implemented, people started making these sort of analysis,related to this forum. These analysis is helpful for some people,and the person who makes these data analysis receives a few merit(because they rightfully deserve it),so what I am focusing on is,people will use this method just to earn merits,which is bad.

And here we are turning this thread into merit related when it's true data nature (stress on data) is not. No worries.

Regardless, theymos started to publish the Merit.txt file for a reason, and I believe it goes further than just being open and transparent about the system. Theymos is considering liberating even more data files, so you can only expect more analysis to be performed.

Detailed data is there for people to look into it and, I figure, use it for overall benefit. That is one on the things I do with it, amongst a few others, the output of which helps us gather insights and start discussions on the matter of Merit/sMerit.

This is a new system, and core to the process of ranking up, so it’s logical that everybody has an opinion on it and that they are willing to express their opinion on it in a sense. Some do it in an appalling demeaning way, others use a wittier approach, and a few don’t give a rat’s ass about it.
Statistically, merit treated through stats are scarce in proportion to those reporting on it and way less than those pulling down their trousers and showing you their A side or B side depending on your preferences.

Reporting merit abuse threads are, by the way, a great complement to helping out the forum, and specifically the moderators, in order to keep things in line. In fact, Merit has become a new means to help uncover merit farms (as well as deter their creation in the first place).

So earning merits creating stats is “bad”. I figure that, by the same criteria, we should also include reporting on merit abuse into that category, especially if reporters were to be merited and not act out of true desire to defeat evil in the kingdom of the good.

We could then move on to having a formal universal definition on Merit and, consequently, a limited clear set of rules for awarding it, creating a standard de facto for a universal definition of Merit. This standard could then be automated, thus achieving a perfect self-automated awarding system. Then discussion on the topic would come to an end...

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April 23, 2018, 03:26:36 AM
 #14

Great job on this. I enjoyed reading your data puke.

Just some comments tho:

- It is generally painful for the eyes to see stretched out images (seen in your excel tables)
- Why do you use a period (.) instead of commas (,) as number serparators? (seen in your charts)

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April 23, 2018, 05:07:10 AM
 #15

Great job on this. I enjoyed reading your data puke.

You mean data dump? because there is a significant difference between puke and dump, former comes from above and the latter comes from below. I hope you didn't mean that OP digested data dumps by theymos and puked them here. lol.

Just some comments tho:

- It is generally painful for(women when they are) the eyes to see stretched out images (seen in your excel tables)
- Why do you use a period (.) instead of commas (,) as number serparators? (seen in your charts)

Disclaimer: I've added that part in red.
Good thing, this kind of data and stretched out images are not generally for our eye's comfort. you are moaning like Jet Cash. stop moaning.

(196 users now days on average per day?). If it is users/day/hour it would make a bit more sense, but 4.704 (196*24) users per day is still pretty small. Perhaps it’s a trick indicator waiting for debate?

4,704 posts per day means those 196 online users are posting 24 posts every day as you said in your quote above, there are at least 100 people with more than 50 accounts each posting around 1200-1500 every day. *cryptopussies is a small example of such forum members.

*lol.

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April 23, 2018, 07:16:13 AM
Merited by TMAN (2)
 #16

Great job on this. I enjoyed reading your data puke.

Just some comments tho:

- It is generally painful for the eyes to see stretched out images (seen in your excel tables)
- Why do you use a period (.) instead of commas (,) as number serparators? (seen in your charts)

When I read your comments, I got mixed feelings on the first line and took them similarly to Digaran’s interpretation.
My mind sometimes goes down weird paths, so I then moved on to considering that “puke”, if used  instead of “dump” by accident or language mistranslation, could create a new way of referencing the “pump and dump” price feature for the “puke and dump”.

I then moved on to considering the similarities between puke and dump, and while both are the body’s way of disposing of ingested food and beverage, the latter does come out a winner versus the former in terms of satisfaction.

Then I went back to square one and wondered if “data puke” was actually a term I wasn’t aware of, and bingo, I found a few references to it. It turns out that Data Puke is considered by some as the following:

(quote from source (a few years old though) : https://geovoices.geonetric.com/2013/05/data-puke-vs-actionable-data/

5 Signs You Are Generating Data Puke:
1.   The only numbers you are looking at are the high-level “dashboard” numbers (most of the time dashboards are data puke).
2.    “What’s this?” or “What’s this showing?” is how someone else looking at the report you just created instantly responds.
3.   It doesn’t pass the “so what?” test. Ask yourself “so what?” for every statistic you pull, and if you don’t have a measurable or economically identifiable reason to measure it, then don’t. You’re wasting your time.
4.   If you are looking at a report and there is no mention of a ‘target’ or ‘goal’.
5.   There is no context behind anything you are presented with or presenting to others.

(end of quote)

I believe that my stat does not comply fully with the above, although to some extent it may adjust to some of the items above stated. In full disclosure, I normally go in deeper into the data and insights, but I need to know the business from inside out, it´s strategic and tactical objectives, and then, and only then, can I take things to the next level.


As to the image stretching, I can´t master it any better yet. Things look pretty good on various of my devices, although it’s true that screen resolution on them is excellent and may not be the standard, so other devices may take sizing on with a worse visual result.


Lastly, I use a period separator to separate groups of 3 digits due to that being the default in my country (the comma is used as a decimal separator). Same can be said on date formats, where day and month are inverted depending on the country you’re in.

See for example:



Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decimal_separator
When one country uses a coma as a decimal separator, they normally use the comma as the thousand’s separator and vice-versa.






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April 23, 2018, 08:03:34 AM
 #17

Lastly, I use a period separator to separate groups of 3 digits due to that being the default in my country (the comma is used as a decimal separator). Same can be said on date formats, where day and month are inverted depending on the country you’re in.

As can be seen on the map the use a comma to separate groups of 3 digits and the decimal period is the English speaking worlds convention. That's what causes confusion, the mixed use of English language words and foreign language numbers.

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April 23, 2018, 08:36:43 AM
 #18

I find it interesting to see that top posters like aamph posted 28,854 times since his/her account creation in 2013. That could mean he/she posted approximately 26 times DAILY. Thats a lot of time spent on the forums assuming it's not just spam posts written in 3 seconds.

I would find it interesting to hear from these top 9 on how the forum has affected their lives. Hopefully it's been profitable or fulfilling for them to do so.
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April 23, 2018, 08:42:38 AM
 #19

As can be seen on the map the use a comma to separate groups of 3 digits and the decimal period is the English speaking worlds convention. That's what causes confusion, the mixed use of English language words and foreign language numbers.

Yes, That's it. Both my professional and personal software is in English, but currencies and so are local since that is my main usage. I think we can live with it without too much disturbance, especially if we avoid using simultaneously decimal points and commas on numeric values.

If it gets too confusing, we (me and others I guess) could play around with local configuration, do the task, and then revert back to default. Dates are another hazard though (dd/mm/yyyy vs mm/dd/yyyy).

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April 23, 2018, 09:02:54 AM
Merited by DdmrDdmr (1)
 #20

As can be seen on the map the use a comma to separate groups of 3 digits and the decimal period is the English speaking worlds convention. That's what causes confusion, the mixed use of English language words and foreign language numbers.

Yes, That's it. Both my professional and personal software is in English, but currencies and so are local since that is my main usage. I think we can live with it without too much disturbance, especially if we avoid using simultaneously decimal points and commas on numeric values.

If it gets too confusing, we (me and others I guess) could play around with local configuration, do the task, and then revert back to default. Dates are another hazard though (dd/mm/yyyy vs mm/dd/yyyy).

I wouldn't worry too much about the numbers. The date thing is a case of evolution. A couple of hundred years ago the English used the same format as the US does now. But then someone thought about it logically.



Then everyone started adopting dd/mm/yyyy. America is still waiting to have that moment of clarity.  Grin



Back to the stats and the "Average online per day" has been baffling me as well. All I can think of is that it means simultaneously online. I think there is a period of time that you are considered logged in after every page load and that goes into the "Total time logged in" stat you see at the top of the page. If that timeout period is very short that might help explain why the "Average online per day" value is so low.

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