It would be great if we could show every statistic every participant could think of, but we (the distributed.net staff) run in to some limits which force us to pick and choose:
- We have day jobs and - in most cases - lives. We can't spend days at a time developing new code for the stats server. Many suggestions we hear are already on a todo list, just waiting for us to have enough time to implement them. We're an all-volunteer army, and we're always looking for new recruits. If you have serious SQL experience, especially with VLDB's, let us know you want to help.
- Most new statistical facts require more space somewhere. The largest tables contains several million rows and occupy several gigabytes on disk. At this scale, adding even a single integer field (4 bytes) can add almost 100MB of additional table usage. Even if we decide a stat is worth the extra space, it's not something we're going to rush into. Adding a field requires shutting the stats pages down completely for a period of hours, and introduces the possiblity of breaking something somewhere else. We don't take these risks lightly.
- Most new statistical facts require more time to calculate. Typically, the daily stats run takes around 4 hours a night, during which parts of the stats pages are shut down. If we tried to implement every idea suggested, we could easily fill up a 24-hour stats run with no time left over for viewing your stats! Ranking alone consumes almost an hour - adding a second ranking statistic would add another hour to stats.
- Some new statistical facts require information not currently returned from the client or not returned from every client. We can't report on what we don't know.
- It could be we don't know how to calculate such a thing, that your request doesn't make sense within the current framework, or that we just don't understand your request. Be as specific as possible. If you know something about SQL, feel free to show us an example.
- Providing a statistic may reveal confidential information about other participants. In particular, we will not reveal all or part of an e-mail address or name without permission, and we will not reveal team affiliations.
- We may choose not to add your feature because we think it may not have enough appeal to others, would be easily misunderstood or would encourage the wrong behavior in participants. Hourly or up-to-the-minute stats fall in the "wrong behavior" category.
- Some stats are more easily provided by forming a team, or by using a personal proxy and analyzing the logs yourself. There are a plethora of log analyzers in our third-party addons page at http://www.distributed.net/download/addon.html
- Even if you suggest a great idea, with no measurable impact on space or speed, it could take us days or weeks to get around to it.
- Though most of us do hang out in #distributed from time to time, we don't always hear everything that goes on there. If you have a suggestion, add it to Bugzilla, don't just rant.