Re: [http-state] draft-ietf-httpstate-cookie-05 posted

"Paul E. Jones" <> Mon, 15 March 2010 21:48 UTC

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From: "Paul E. Jones" <>
To: "'Adam Barth'" <>
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Date: Mon, 15 Mar 2010 17:48:42 -0400
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Cc: 'Daniel Stenberg' <>, 'http-state' <>
Subject: Re: [http-state] draft-ietf-httpstate-cookie-05 posted
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> User agents are required to handle these cases gracefully.  The
> language we're considering is a recommendation for servers to improve
> interoperability with some existing user agents that don't handle this
> case gracefully.

If a UA today would do something strange, the UA needs to be fixed.  I'm
concerned with inserting language that requires behavior to try to overcome
issues with user agents.  Do such issues exist in practice?  If so, we ought
to fix the browser.

Also consider that it's not the web server that will generate cookies, but
many thousands of application developers will create cookies and specify
expiration dates.  There are just a handful of browser vendors.

When one of these thousands of app developers passes an expiration date of
2050 over the wire and a browser breaks, do we blame the application
developer who composed a proper date or the browser vendor who didn't give
the date reasonable treatment? This language suggests we blame the app
developer, but I don't think that's where blame should be placed.

The UA might want to change the date to 2037 internally and I doubt anybody
would care.  I don't even think that's something noteworthy since the UA
will not likely be around by then.  What is important is that the UAs at
least give reasonable treatment of dates beyond 2038.