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The Workshop area is meant to reinforce your reading with a series of questions and exercises.


Q1: What sorts of Web sites should logins be used for?
A1: Logins can be used in many different Web sites, regardless of whether they contain sensitive information. For example, you can provide customizable Web content (news, surveys, and so on) based on who the user is at your site. Although the information might not need to be secure, providing a way for the site to customize itself based around a user is a value-added feature than you can easily employ with a login screen.
Q2:How can I tell whether I should use a URL parameter-passing method or session variables?
A2: First, you need to identify the users of your site. If you have control over your clientele, you can use session variables without fear. Unfortunately, if you must cater to as wide of an audience as possible, you should use URL parameter passing. Be aware, however, that if the data based on the URL is sensitive, the parameters themselves must encrypted.
Q3:How do session variables work if the information isn't stored in a cookie?
A3: Session variables are actually kept on the server. They are referenced based on a session ID that is stored in a cookie on the client machine. If the client does not accept cookies, you'll be unable to set session variables.
Q4:Why do you have to use session variables or URL parameter passing?
A4: The Web is a stateless environment. Each request to a Web site is separate and unique. If the Web server does not receive some sort of information from the client computer, it cannot identify who the client is. Cookies and parameter passing are the two methods by which you can maintain information about a user accessing your site.



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