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Re: Shopping baskets (was: Session tracking)

From: Brian Behlendorf <brian@organic.com>
Date: Thu, 27 Apr 1995 11:49:05 -0700 (PDT)
To: Bert Bos <bert@let.rug.nl>
Cc: Multiple recipients of list <www-talk@www10.w3.org>
Message-Id: <Pine.3.89.9504271136.P10331-0100000@eat.organic.com>
On Thu, 27 Apr 1995, Bert Bos wrote:
> I don't think HTTP, with or without cookies, will ever be suitable for
> electronic shopping. In the physical world, products are scarce, 

Not necessarily.  There was a mountain of oranges at the supermarket last 
night.  Now, in the case of something like that ultra-rare Jesus Jones 
remix album from Japan I picked up the other night from Tower, yeah, 
that's a situation where being able to put the product in my hand 
reassured me that no one else would get it before I did - but the greater 
reassurance was that I wouldn't leave the store without forgetting to buy 
it.  Scarcity is a difficult thing to handle in any remote shopping 
situation - how many times have you watched the Home 
Shopping Club and seen "order now!  We've only got three of 'em!"  
The market will find a solution for this.  As long as the shopping cart 
application allows the user to buy things as soon as they want, it's not 
a problem.

> You need not just a stateful protocol, but a permanent
> connection: if the customer leaves the shop without paying, then you
> can put the product back on the shelf. A magic cookie is like an
> indefinite claim: if the customer is allowed to take it home with him,
> you'll never know if he's planning to buy it eventually or not.

Sounds like we're trying to get a little too literal here.  "put the 
product back on the shelf"?  If all the user is saving is a URL to the 
object... anyways, internet shopping is going to be fundamentally 
different from in-store shopping or phone ordering or infomercials or 
anything, and the "shopping cart" metaphor was not meant to imply we 
should build a system that exactly duplicates the in-store shopping 

Though, the problem of putting objects "on hold" could be pretty easily 
handled with some simple CGI scripts.


brian@organic.com  brian@hyperreal.com  http://www.[hyperreal,organic].com/
Received on Thursday, 27 April 1995 14:49:12 UTC

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