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1827Exact definition of a session

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  • Mike Cantone
    Oct 6, 2004
      I need a better understanding of when a session gets created as opposed
      to when an existing session is used.

      Let me put forth my understanding and if someone can tell me where I'm
      right/wrong I'd greatly appreciate it.

      OBSERVATIONS

      I've observed the following behavior.

      * On mozilla, if I bring up my application on multiple tags of the same
      browser instance, it all seems to access the same session (assuming I
      haven't abandoned it).
      * With mozilla, on the same client, if I bring up multiple versions of
      mozilla, it seems to tap into different sessions.
      * With konqueror (which I must support), from the same hardware client,
      even with different instances of the browser, it seems to tap into the
      same session.
      * From different hardware clients, it always seems to create a new
      session or tap into an existing session from that same client).

      SESSION MECHANICS THEORY

      So, my theory based on these observations is that a cookie defines a
      session and that cookie always has the exact name "session-id" and, for
      some reason mozilla must maintain separate caches of cookies per browser
      invocation will mozilla does not.

      QUESTIONS

      * Is there any way to have more than one session for a given hardware
      client perhaps based on application? That would imply either the
      session-id cooke could be prefixed or somehow the browser would store it
      in a subdirectory based on the application (I don't know if browsers
      allow this type of control within the cookie directory though I'm
      scpetical the sub-directory thing is feasible).

      * With regard to session timeout, if it is set to something like 60
      minutes, is that 60 minutes from the beginning of session creation or 60
      minutes from the point of last activity. The latter seems more useful
      and typical to me, but I'd like to confirm it...

      * Our application is characterized by few simultaneous users that
      perform tasks where there is significant computation. While the
      computation generates a fair amount of data (a few MB), the computation
      takes long enough that it is highly desirable to keep the results in
      session. Is there a limit to how much data I can keep in session? Based
      on how our applicaiton is characterized is there any reason to not keep
      the data in session?

      Much appreciation for any help - I must release this to QA soon and I
      really want to make sure I understand this all well before hand.

      Thanks,

      Mike


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