October 2010

In this post I will present some stats around our students' choice of browsers and operating system which I have been gathering for the last month, as we begin a new academic year. These figures were arrived at in a similar way to my recent analysis of this blog's readership, using Google Analytics. Google Analytics stats were collected on visits to the login page for our student Google Apps domain.

Of particular note is that Internet Explorer is now at a rather meagre 42% take-up, with Chrome and Firefox vying for equal second place in the browser league table at 23% each.  In reality we may have any number of people who use more than one browser, but I'll quickly gloss over that and move on... :-)

The stats also sound a note of caution around any assumptions that Windows Vista can now be safely ignored - 40% of the machines using our service were running Vista. The digerati may have written it off and moved on, but people out in the real world are actually still running this stuff.

I’ve blogged in the past about our project to create a student portal at Loughborough this Autumn. This post is intended to provide a quick update and also to explore some of the architectural issues that have arisen.

In a previous post I introduced the concept that a portal did not necessarily equate to “a portal system”, i.e. a dedicated piece of software. This is a theme that I want to pick up on here. If we had been putting a portal in a few years ago, then we would almost certainly have surveyed the market and looked at packages like uPortal, Sakai and Liferay. Why not simply put one of these systems in now?

Here's why...