Web Log Analyzer



W3Perl is an "old-school" log file analyzer. It was written by Laurent Domisse in 1995 and the last version made was version 3.20 published on June 30, 2015.


W3Perl is available for most operating systems and the Windows version consists of a single .exe file.The installation help file is no longer available on the W3Perl site when I checked in October 2023, but is available from the Internet Archive or from the mirror of the site by Tammy McDonald. The downloads from the site contains all the documentation needed.

I tried to run w3perl-apache.exe but that complained that it couldn't find my installation of Apache. Maybe that's because I installed it to C:\Apache24 and it couldn't find that. The installer did offer to continue with the installation and put it in C:\Program Files (x86)

After installing W3Perl from w3perl-apache.exe, I uninstalled it and ran the "No server" version, w3perl.exe. That simply installed all the files in C:\Program Files (x86)

Just to see what would happen I downloaded Tarball version, w3perl.tar.gz. Windows now comes with the tar command that can manipulate tar and gz files togther. The command I used to extract the files was

tar -xvzf downloads\w3perl.tar.gz -C downloads\w3perl

It appears all these versions are the same as even the Linux tar.gz has a sample Windows configuration file.

Some Problems

Of course some of these problems were due to my misunderstanding the documentation. I found the configuration file intimidating. I expected to see something like where are the log files? What format are they in? Where do you want to output the reports to? I wasn't expecting the Spanish Inquisition!

The start file, cron-w3perl.pl, makes a good job of pointing out errors in the configuration file though.

Live Output

I have decided to make the statistics obtained from my web logs public. The logs are subject to referer spam, so if the referring site in these analytics pages looks suspicious, it probably is.

Unless it was changed, the W3Perl statistics pages contain unique phrases such as "Statistics www.w3perl.com", but a search of this on Google does not bring up many results, so presumably not many people are still using it or prefer to keep the statistics pages private.

Sources and Resources

Laurent Domisse - Bio of the author of W3Perl
W3Perl - Official web site. This site no longer has the installation guides when I checked it in October 2023
W3Perl (Internet Archive) - The original W3Perl site
W3Perl (Wikipedia)
W3Perl 3.09 (Tammy McDonald) - This is a mirror of the offical site and contains the documentation pages
W3Perl 3.19 (Internet Archive) - This is a mirror of the offical site that was hosted by the Institut Astrophysique de Paris
W3Perl Review (Pat Research)