Moving beyond disillusionment

Miles Sabin msabin at
Fri Oct 8 17:10:50 BST 1999

Dave Winer wrote,
> By coincidence, I also did some work on cookies this 
> morning, and in doing the work I referred back to the 
> original Netscape document about cookies:
> Those were the days! Such low-tech easy stuff. No 
> DTDs, schemas, no need to render cookies in browsers. 
> It just happened.

Yes, and a right mess it was too: originally a 2 digit
year (when did that spec date from? the early '90s!), 
HTTP header folding not supported, and a whole raft of 
security issues. RFC2109 was supposed to be the cleaned 
up version but it still had a lot of holes and has never
been fully implemented (except maybe in Lynx), and the
current Internet-Draft has reached it's twelfth revision
after a couple of years work, mostly caused by the
desire to try and remain interoperable with Netscapes
broken design.

All in all, the cookie spec is about the *best* example
you come up with of something that would have benefitted
from a more formal process ;-)



Miles Sabin                          Cromwell Media
Internet Systems Architect           5/6 Glenthorne Mews
+44 (0)181 410 2230                  London, W6 0LJ
msabin at           England

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