The Slog A development blog by Liam Siira

User Analytics

- Posted in atheos

During the early stages of rebuilding the external support for the Atheos IDE, including the Marketplace, the Update Endpoint, the Homepage and Documentation, I noticed that Codiad had a tiny analytic system baked in.

I am a pretty big advocate of privacy, and while the level of analytics that Codiad was collecting was pretty much nill, I was extremely bothered to just now be finding out about this feature after having spent a significant amount of time developing Atheos and studying the source code. To make matters worse, this feature existed without informing users or providing an opt out feature.

I have both turned it off and removed almost every trace of it from Atheos at the time of writing this. However, I know that as a developer of Atheos, it is in my best interest for Atheos to have some level of analytics.

But what is that level? For a while now, every install of Atheos has had a small file that is unique to each installation that I have planned on eventually setting up an end point collection for. For now though, that data just sits there.

I want to know how people use Atheos, but I don't want to know anything unique . It's a line that's been pretty hard for me to determine exactly what I'm willing to collect against what I want to protect.

At the time of writing this, I've designed Atheos to save:

  • A UUID: The only unique identifier, randomly generated
  • The installed version
  • First heard: Installed date
  • Last head: Last login date
  • PHP, OS, and Web-server version info
  • Browser
  • Location (country/timezone) & Language
  • List of plugins

To be clear, at the time of writing this, this file has been built by Atheos for a few months, but the data just sits there; there is no end point and it isn't sent anywhere.

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