[Lispweb] session tracking: url rewriting vs cookies

Lyn A Headley laheadle at cs.uchicago.edu
Sun Jun 24 14:14:28 CDT 2001

Hello Lispwebbers,

I'm writing a community application using IMHO/usql, and i've run into
some prickliness regarding imho's url-rewrite strategy of session
tracking, whereby a random session-identifier is encoded in the url
requested by each client.  While I like the explicitness and the way
even the cookie-shy can use the app, I don't see a way around the
following difficulty:

I want to have two kinds of pages: general, which can be viewed by
non-members, and personal, which are tailored to the needs of a
specific member.  I also want to be able to cache general pages to
increase speed.  The cached version will, of course, have a session
identifier of "none."  So take, for example, the group summary page
for the group, say, Lispweb.  It has a link to the propose new issue
page which is a personal page relative to a member (the proposer).  I
want to be able to cache the group summary page AND allow logged-in
members to be able to propose issues without being forced to log in
again, but using the url-rewriting session strategy I don't think I
can, since there is no way to know that the proposer is a member,
since the link in the cached page contains no session identifier.

I think I'm going to add cookie-based sessions to IMHO, but if anyone
has a better idea to support the general/personal dichotomy with
caching, I'd love to hear it.


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