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Shopping baskets (was: Session tracking)

From: Paul Burchard <burchard@horizon.math.utah.edu>
Date: Fri, 21 Apr 95 00:21:20 -0600
Message-Id: <9504210621.AA01343@horizon.math.utah.edu>
To: montulli@netscape.com
Cc: Multiple recipients of list <www-talk@www10.w3.org>
"Lou Montulli" <montulli@netscape.com> writes:
> My proposal is meant to solve a much broader set of
> problems than a simple session id.  [...]  One of it's more
> useful applications is an online shopping basket.

As I feared.  A cookie hidden in the HTTP headers is not the way to  
implement this!  Just think about it from the customer's point of  
view:  With a real shopping basket, I can see at all times what I've  
collected so far.  I can compare what's there with my budget, and  
with other competitive products that I come across.  As a result of  
my comparisons, I can take products out at any time and put them  
back on the shelf.  Your solution compares poorly with a cardboard  
box :-)

Instead, like any client-side state, the shopping basket makes most  
sense as a document -- something the user can see and act upon.   
And like any association, the relationships tying various "vendor  
stalls" with the associated shopping basket should be established  
using links.

So rather "solving" the problem by adding complicated statefulness  
to HTTP (a future nightmare, in my opinion), a better investment  
would be to think about how to rectify the Web's primitive model for  
linking and navigation of documents -- one of its key strategic  
weaknesses.

P.S.  I'm still in favor of a Session-ID proposed by Brian  
Behlendorf/Dave Kristol, which has the more modest purpose of  
allowing reliable (but not secure) identification of anonymous  
users.

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Paul Burchard	<burchard@math.utah.edu>
``I'm still learning how to count backwards from infinity...''
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Received on Friday, 21 April 1995 02:21:14 UTC

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