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1 Author(s)
Thomas, B. ; SPIE-Int. Soc. for Opt. Eng., USA

We can learn much from what we name our technology. The author's latest theory goes something like this: never give new technology a cute name. That's it. Despite volumes of evidence proving we should make computers more user friendly, he still believes there's a zone you don't cross into, and that is cuteness. So if you happen to invent a new technology, be it hardware or software, then name it something generic like Word or Illustrator, or ominous like CORBA or SGML. The author focuses on Netscape's use of the ultimate in cute monikers: cookies. In deciding on that name, Netscape naively gave momentum to one of the worst public relations nightmares ever. No other Web technology has had to endure such a lasting negative-spin cycle as cookies have-dating back to Netscape 1.1. And the author believes the name was the heart of it. Netscape invented cookies to deal with one of the most limiting aspects of the Web: HTTP's inability to maintain a consistent, pervasive state. Cookies extend state by passing a small amount of data to a browser so that when the browser returns to the site that issued the data, the server can say: “hey, I remember you and a few things about you”. The article presents an example of a typical cookie as it would appear to a browser in an HTTP page header and goes on to describe the elements used in this example

Published in:

Internet Computing, IEEE  (Volume:2 ,  Issue: 6 )

Date of Publication:

Nov/Dec 1998

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