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Re: cookies: 2/4 headers?

From: Dave Kristol <dmk@research.bell-labs.com>
Date: Mon, 3 Mar 97 09:58:54 EST
Message-Id: <9703031458.AA06258@zp>
To: koen@win.tue.nl
Cc: http-wg@cuckoo.hpl.hp.com
  > From: koen@win.tue.nl (Koen Holtman)
  > > [DMK]
  > >The messy part is for a SMG ("new cookie") aware server to distinguish an
  > >old from a new cookie,
  > 
  > If I read the specs right:
  > 
  > Old:  Cookie: CUSTOMER=WILE_E_COYOTE
  > New:  Cookie: $Version="1"; Customer="WILE_E_COYOTE"; $Path="/acme"
  > 
  > Easy enough to distinguish: look for $Version at the start of the
  > header.

Yes, but that's the easy case.  It gets harder when you worry about
multiple cookies in a Cookie header, choice of either ';' or ',' as
a cookie (not attribute) separator, and the rules for stickiness for
attributes.

With a Cookie2 header, you can
	- dispense with $Version (for the default case)
	- require ',' as the cookie separator
	- do away with the attribute stickiness rules
	- dispense with reserving '$' as a special first character
  > 
  > If I were to decode cookies, I would not even bother to distinguish
  > the formats beforehand.  I would just code a parser which is able to
  > handle both formats.
No debate there.
  > 
  > I think that the spec would be messier, not cleaner, if a Cookie2
  > header were introduced.

I disagree, but you can judge for yourself.  I've already told you
where you can find a revised version of the spec that uses Cookie2:
	<http://portal.research.bell-labs.com/~dmk/cookie-2.36-2.42.txt>
	<http://portal.research.bell-labs.com/~dmk/cookie-2.36-2.42.ps>

Dave
Received on Monday, 3 March 1997 07:05:36 EST

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