Who is behind this site? The webmaster (Philippe) decided to create the site in December 2001. Many European users now contribute to running the site. Craco (Peter) is in charge of the forum, avij (Anssi) has donated a new server to the site in mid-2003 and maintains it. Nerzhul (Marko) has been involved in further site development since 2005. Various other tasks have been assigned to dedicated volunteers, such as translations, email support, the moderation of the list of hits, the moderation of the forum, and the addition of location coordinates. All this work is done on a voluntary basis and for the fun of it!
What should I know about the interesting technical concepts behind the site?
Caching For performance reasons not all statistics are calculated whenever they're requested. Instead, the first time a result is calculated it is stored in the cache and then re-used whenever this specific statistic is accessed again within a certain period. The refresh timeouts vary depending on the nature of the statistic, from a few seconds to several days.
Queuing Some statistics take a very long time to calculate or appear on a page together with so many other statistics that the combined calculation time would be unbearable for our users. These statistics are queued for later calculation. If possible, previously calculated (but possibly outdated) cached results will be displayed and are marked in italics to indicate that they are out of date. Queued statistics are calculated in the background whenever the load state of the server permits it, so there are no guaranteed creation and refresh times. Some statistics take so long and require so much of the server's resources that they can only be generated at night.
Unicode Since May 2006, the database is kept in Unicode (UTF-8). Thus Greek characters and accented letters of all European languages, including the slavic ones, are represented in a uniform way. This is essential for tracking notes all across the growing Euro zone. Nearly every browser will display all of EBT correctly. However, some other software, e.g., older text editors or statistical tools, may be unable to render your CSV file properly.
The referrer system EuroBillTracker users can invite new users to join EBT by using a special referrer link which can be found in the About section once logged in. By joining EBT using the referrer link the new user is added to that user's list of referred users; but if the new user enters directly through http://www.eurobilltracker.com the referral will not be recorded. By gathering enough referred users it is possible to get a bit of fame because there's a listing of Best referers in the statistics section. The main reason why you are seeing such advertisements is that by getting more users involved, the probability of a hit increases. It should be pointed out that the referring user gets absolutely no financial benefit by referring a new user to the site. We all do this just for fun :) We urge our users to use common sense when they are placing their advertisements! In particular, we request them to avoid any situation where the promotion might be considered as spam. Users who create a nuisance, for example on other forums, may find their referer count reduced or set to zero.
Babel and translations EuroBillTracker being a European effort, the webmaster got his first foreign users to help him translate the site. Most European languages are now available.
Managing a big group of translators (there are about 90 as of December 2006) being difficult, the webmaster created a special tool called Babel and made it open-source. See PHPBabel's website.
If you can help with translating the site to other languages, please let us know. We will make you a translator! Particularly welcome are languages of countries where the Euro is likely to become official currency soon.
Interesting hits and the moderation system We currently have a binary rating system for hits - it can either be interesting or not. If a hit is not considered interesting it will be moderated and not be shown in the list of recent hits or used in rankings. Don't worry if one of your hits gets moderated, you still have full access to the hit data and you can still share it with other users.
The moderation of a hit can happen either manually by a few selected members, or automatically if a hit matches certain characteristics, for example if its time difference is 0 days or if there are multiple, very similar hits between two users at the same time. By default every new hit is considered interesting.