Re: Shopping baskets (was: Session tracking)

Fisher Mark (
Thu, 27 Apr 1995 06:35:38 +0500

Paul Burchard writes in <>:
>Why are we developing a complex stateful protocol to handle what
>amounts to the customer's private (until the final purchase decision
>is made) musings?

>From what I understand, all we are talking about is passing an extra header
between server and client. All a conforming HTTP server needs to do is when
it is passed the header by the client during a request, it should return
that header as part of the response. Clients, meanwhile, after receiving
that header from a specific server, need to pass that header to that server
on subsequent requests. The actual HTTP server code remains stateless while
clients gain only minimal statefulness (since the header value is a magic
cookie). CGI scripts that use that header (the "stores"), are, however,
fully stateful.

>It's only the lack of serious client-side capabilities in today's
>Web that's keeping you from thinking about this as the client-side
>issue it naturally is. Shouldn't we be devoting the effort
>currently going into server-side kludges (I've done my share of
>this) to improving the client capabilities? From what I hear, Billy
>G. understands and fully intends to exploit this weakness of the

Client-side capabilities should be expanded in my view (as you can see from
my previous postings). The "magic cookie" approach requires minimal server
and client code changes, while enabling a new class of Web applications.
Full, safe client-side scripting like that of Safe-Tcl's for mail will open
many new classes of Web applications.
Mark Fisher Thomson Consumer Electronics Indianapolis, IN

"Just as you should not underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon
traveling 65 mph filled with 8mm tapes, you should not overestimate
the bandwidth of FTP by mail."