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Comments on the new cookie draft

From: Yaron Goland <yarong@microsoft.com>
Date: Thu, 20 Feb 1997 16:23:06 -0800
Message-Id: <c=US%a=_%p=msft%l=RED-44-MSG-970221002306Z-6514@INET-05-IMC.microsoft.com>
To: "'dmk@research.bell-labs.com'" <dmk@research.bell-labs.com>, "'http-wg%cuckoo.hpl.hp.com@hplb.hpl.hp.com'" <http-wg@cuckoo.hpl.hp.com>
X-Mailing-List: <http-wg@cuckoo.hpl.hp.com> archive/latest/2508
The new cookie draft's backwards compatibility mechanism depends upon
the way that Netscape handles illegally formatted cookies, specifically
cookies with multiple NAME=VALUE pairs (where I use NAME=VALUE as given
>in http://home.netscape.com/newsref/std/cookie_spec.html). Netscape choose to
>handle these illegal cookies by taking the first NAME=VALUE and making that
>the cookie's value. MSIE choose to handle these illegal cookies by taking the
>last NAME=VALUE. Neither implementation is wrong. As Netscape's many cookies
>drafts never specified how to handle illegally formatted cookies,
>implementers were free to do whatever they wanted. As such the current
>specification statement that "In other words, MSIE sends back the wrong
>cookie name and value." is factually incorrect, not to mention insulting.
>Given that no one wishes to implement a new cookie specification which will
>not work with a large segment of current browsers and given that no one
>wishes to make servers manipulate cookie field orderings based on the user
>agent, I would propose a solution which will be backwards compliant with all
>current browsers. We can use two cookie headers. Set-Cookie and
>Set-Cookie-V1. Set-Cookie will contain a normal V0 cookie. Set-Cookie-V1 will
>contain all fields shared w/V0, NAME=VALUE, domain, path, and secure.
>Set-Cookie-V1 will contain the new fields, version, comment and max-age.
>Furthermore Set-Cookie may also contain expires which will be ignored by any
>V1 compliant client. In addition we can actually drop the version field and
>simply increment the number in the header. In addition if a server knows it
>is talking with a V1 compliant client it can drop Set-Cookie all together and
>just return Set-Cookie-V1 with all relevant fields.
>			Yaron
Received on Thursday, 20 February 1997 16:29:23 UTC

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