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Chapter 5. Managing Session State in Clusters > The History of Managing State

The History of Managing State

In the early days of the Internet (way back in 1995), CGI programmers set up a roll-your-own method of maintaining client state. They used the HTTP protocol's built-in syntax for passing name-value pairs, either in the URL (with a GET request) or after the main body of the HTTP request (with a POST request, usually from a form). With care, a CGI programmer could hand the same name-value pairs from page to page of a site via URLs and forms. The problem with this method is that it creates very long URL strings, which can become unmanageable and would not work properly in some browsers.

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Netscape defined the cookie as part of Netscape 1.0, which stored name-value pairs on the user's machine rather than forcing Web developers to remember to pass name-value pairs on every page. These cookies were passed to the server automatically with every HTTP request to the Web site, which set the cookie.


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