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Re: LYNX-DEV Cookies
Re: LYNX-DEV Cookies
Mon, 30 Jun 1997 08:22:34 +0100 (BST)
> Given the previous discussion about cookies, could someone explain to me
> (or point out a topic in help, URL, etc.) just what ARE cookies?
See the HTTP 1.1 RFC.
Basically they are pieces of information which the browser stores, on a
per user basis, on behalf of the server.
HTTP is stateless, which means that each request is taken in isolation.
Cookies allow the server to maintain state. There are two basic uses of this.
Firstly, people converting traditional applications to web based forms want to
simulate a situation where all the interactions form one bigger transaction.
Tools like Microsoft's Active Server Pages support this, by issuing cookies with
everything if they believe a browser will support cookies. ASP issues just
a reference to data stored within itself, but it is possible to store other
all the data on the browser.
The more controversial use, which is probably the main reason that you get
cookies from search engines, is to track individual users through the net, to
allow marketing profiles to be built on them, either specifically (if they
ever give away their true identity to someone party to the tracking service)
or as an unknown individual making a correlated set of enquiries. Also, even
without a true identity, they allow targetted selection of banner adverts.
Cookies can only be returned to the site that issued them.
More information on the mainly legitimate uses (although Microsoft provide
tools for ensuring each cookie holder gets a good selection of adverts) should
be available from the Microsoft site. Caution: Microsoft pages are highly
tuned for MSIE 3, and, particularly in the ASP area, there is a lot of
gratuitous use of dynamic pages, so you should choose a time which is both
quiet in the US and on the Pacific cables, as very few pages are cacheable.
More information on punter tracking is probably available if you look for
the advertiser information produced by search engine operators - I haven't
checked, but having seen similar material for advertisers in other media,
I suspect it will be quite revealing about their true business.
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LYNX-DEV cookies, carey, 1997/07/20
Re: LYNX-DEV cookies, Foteos Macrides, 1997/07/20
Re: LYNX-DEV cookies, Laura Eaves, 1997/07/20
- Re: LYNX-DEV Cookies,
David Woolley <=