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Cookies

Cookies—you either love them or hate them. Programmers are not usually on the hate-them side, because cookies help the programming process a great deal by enabling you to store data that the browser environment—a notoriously ephemeral environment—can use. You can customize the appearance of your web site for particular users with cookies—fetching and displaying economic data, for example, or setting background color—or store the data associated with a single session but multiple pages.

From the users’ point of view, however, you’re storing data on their computer. Worse, they have no control over that data. Although cookies have largely been accepted now, there continue to be security issues, including cases of hackers being able to store code in cookies that is executed by the browser (although security holes like this are patched vigorously by browser manufacturers when discovered).


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