Sire Usage Analytics

Sire has in-built analytics to let the developers know whether or not Sire is useful and is being used.

Every time Sire runs, a small amount of data is collected and then transmitted back to http://siremol.org. This data is very useful for us, as it tells us what sort of computers Sire is being run on, which versions of Sire are actively used, and which Sire applications are popular.

It is very easy to stop Sire from sending this information.

Just set the environment variable SIRE_DONT_PHONEHOME to any value, e.g. add export SIRE_DONT_PHONEHOME=1 to your .bashrc file, or run Sire applications with SIRE_DONT_PHONEHOME=1 before the call, e.g. SIRE_DONT_PHONEHOME=1 $HOME/sire.app/bin/ligandswap ...

You can see exactly what information Sire will send by setting the environment variable SIRE_VERBOSE_PHONEHOME to any value, e.g. add export SIRE_VERBOSE_PHONEHOME=1 to your .bashrc file, or run Sire applications with SIRE_VERBOSE_PHONEHOME=1 before the call, e.g. SIRE_VERBOSE_PHONEHOME=1 $HOME/sire.app/bin/ligandswap ...

The code that collects and sends the data can be seen here. The function is called _uploadUsageData(), and you can see in this code that it involves collecting information about the operating system, computer processor, version of Sire and the name of the executable that uses Sire. This information is converted to JSON and sent to the PHP script postusagestats.php. This is then decoded and placed into a set of SQL databases, together with a rough (country/region) lookup of the IP address from which the http request originated.

This data is then processed daily using the script cronstats.php. This extracts summaries from the databases that are converted to JSON files that are hosted on this website, e.g. Sire application data is http://siremol.org/phonehome/usagestats_app.json.

The pages linked to via the buttons above use this data to draw nice graphs, using the Google chart library (note that no information is sent to Google, as all drawing occurs on your local machine).

Note that this data is only available since the (private) release of Sire 2015.0, and only widely used in the public releases of Sire since 2016.1 (i.e. after April 2016).

Thank you for letting us collect this information. It does not identify who you are, does not have any impact on your use of Sire, but does provide us with extremely valuable and useful information that allows us to justify continued time and investment in the development of this code.