Friday, November 28, 2003

Writing your name in the snow

Okay, there seems to be a strong cynical bent to my posts as of late but I can't resist just one more.

In the last few years, Netcraft took a beating from the more zealous side of the Open Source house for saying various nice things about Microsoft and IIS. They were even accused of taking money to produce a slanted survey. Here's another similar situation...

NetCraft has stated that Apache runs on the majority of the web sites on the Internet (and has done so since some time mid-Feb 1996). Now there's an org called Port80 Software that says some pretty nasty things about NetCraft. It appears that they're trying the old "running for office campaign" strategy in which the main tactic is to say negative things about the other guy.

Actually, if you read closely, both reports could be true. In other words, it's very likely that IIS has the majority of the Fortune 1000 corporate server realm while Apache has the overall lead. (Hey, at one point I was responsible for 8 individual web servers, only one of them corporate, and none of them IIS.) The problem I have is with the slights thrown in the article which attempts to give NetCraft (I can't believe I'm defending their tactics) a black eye.

I was suspicious enough of the main article to look at it even close. If you look at the data, port80 only looked at the top 1000 corporations. In this case, "top 1000" is the "Fortune 1000" corporate listing. That means that out of the 30298060 web sites polled by NetCraft, port80 says only a specific 1000 of them "count" so that they can declare that IIS has a majority. (Aside: It could also mean that a majority of the Fortune 1000 CIO's saw the "no one's been down to the server room in days" commercial and was gullible enough to believe it.)

Thank God for "Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics"?

Nothing like leveraging of off someone else's reputation, huh?