[Lispweb] www.fast-index.com

Thomas F. Burdick tfb at OCF.Berkeley.EDU
Tue Jun 12 13:22:00 CDT 2001

Marc Battyani writes:

 > Yes, it would be nice if we could use cookies... But as I generally disable
 > them (and I clear them often), I know it's not reliable.

This is a problem that a lot of web developers (in the past, myself
included) imagine.  But, in my experience, it's only imagined.  In one
very-high-traffic application I was a part of deploying, the number of
internauts with cookies turned off was approximately zero: less than
1%, more like 0.5% .  And the odds that those internauts with cookies
turned off are like you and me -- that is, know what they're doing
when they turn cookies off and understand the possible consequences --
those odds are very good.  So the solution is not to avoid cookies,
which are a great way of sticking an ID on someone, but to miss being
able to track those 0.5% with cookies off.  You can always try to set
a cookie, and if it doesn't work, but the internaut to turn cookies
on.  This is sort of a sore spot for me, because some of the wacky
ways people have worked around not using cookies, have resulted in
difficult to maintain code.  And just because they assumed that most
internauts acted like web developers, which is really *really* off the


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