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Re: Braindead server? or "What am I doing wrong?"

From: Steven Champeon <schampeo@hesketh.com>
Date: Wed, 11 Jun 1997 10:04:22 -0400
Message-Id: <3.0.1.32.19970611100422.00948100@mail.imvi.com>
To: S.N.Brodie@ecs.soton.ac.uk, snowhare@netimages.com (Benjamin Franz)
Cc: www-talk@w3.org
At 10:45 AM 6/10/97 +0100, S.N.Brodie@ecs.soton.ac.uk graced us with:
> ARGH!
> 
> Thanks for the information.  Does NS/IE suffer the same problem if you
> disable cookies in them too, then?

Understand that it is *not* a problem with the browser - it is a problem
with lousy code in the server that doesn't handle exceptions when it 
does not receive a cookie. Read the cookie specs - all of them warn against
writing code that must have cookies, in order to respect others' privacy
and also because it is extremely poor programming practice to ignore a
potential error by throwing yourself into an infinite loop.

This is also true for CGI if the CGI expects a cookie. Don't try to brute
force your way into someone else's hard disk, even if just to store a
cookie. If they don't want it, they don't have to accept it.

ASP files (*.asp) are Active Server Pages, which is a crude MS-hack to
allow for VBScript and other server side stuff to be done similar to 
LiveWire (Netscape's server-side JavaScript) and sort of a misshapen
half-breed bastard child of CGI and Server Side Includes. 

If you have access to the server's file system, check out the .asp file
that is giving you trouble. It very likely examines the headers returned
by the request, checks for the Cookie, and thrashes madly when it doesn't
get it. It's not your problem otherwise. Send the webmaster some mail and
ask him/her why s/he is such a dolt.

Steve


--
Steve Champeon                     |   Telling computer guys that 
http://www.hesketh.com/schampeo/   |   they need to have permission
http://www.jaundicedeye.com        |   to quote things is like having
http://www.digitalaspect.com       |   to tell little children about
                                   |   Death.     -- Ted Nelson
Received on Wednesday, 11 June 1997 10:05:25 GMT

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