One of the most common questions that we get in support is about cookies. No…not Oatmeal Raisin, or Chocolate Chip, but browser cookies. What are they and how do they affect both our system and browsing? Let’s start with what a cookie is.
The techno babble: “The cookie is sent as an HTTP header by a web server to a web browser and then sent back unchanged by the browser each time it accesses that server. A cookie can be used for authentication, session tracking (state maintenance), storing site preferences, shopping cart contents, the identifier for a server-based session, or anything else that can be accomplished through storing textual data.” – Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_cookie
To some of you that probably doesn’t mean much or at least could use some clarification…so let’s use my favorite support tool…the analogy.
You’re going out to a concert (The Gallery). When you get to the front door the venue gives you a ticket (Cookie). This cookies gets you a specific seat at the venue…it has information about your specific visit. When you get to your seat you put down your things (Favorites for example). After you’ve put everything down you go out for a minute. When you try and get back in the venue (Gallery) they (browser) checks your ticket (cookie). If you still have it, great, you get back to your seat with all your stuff. The problem comes when browsers, security programs, and spyware checkers, clean your browser and now you’ve lost your ticket and you can’t get back to your seat. You lose your “stuff” (preferences, etc) You either have to prove that you bought the ticket for that seat, or go in with a new ticket and lose all the stuff you put at the other seat.
Now let’s bring this back to the DigiLabs system. As referenced above, cookies are necessary for clients to save favorites and maintain their log-in information (if you’re forcing them to register). Our system has a way to check and validate that cookie. Sometimes these cookies are cleared and if you or your client loses (or clears ) their cookies, the server still has one, but it needs for you to prove that it’s yours. Our system does this two ways:
- If you have your clients register when they enter the gallery the cookie is stored based on their e-mail address. When the cookie gets lost the system will ask them to re-register. As long as they enter the same e-mail address they can get back to their favorites and other information in the gallery.
- Not everyone wants to force registration so we’ve provided another method. We’ve given you, the photographer, access to the cookies stored on our server. You can see what’s stored in those cookies by going to your account administration. Once there click on “view galleries”, then “view details”, then see gallery history and favorites. If you’re not having people register(and sometimes even if you are) you may need to click on “show all” at the top of this page to see everything. This will give you a list of all the people that have visited the galleries that are seen as “unique” visitors. If you click view details here you can see all the favorites that are stored within the cookie, but you can also have access to a relogin link that you can send to a client who lost their cookie.
A word of caution about that second option. If you click on that relogin link, our server will think that you are that person (Sort of like a fake ID). This can cause confusion when you login to every gallery you upload. Because you are now cookied as Jane Smith anything you do will modify the cookie as if Jane Smith was online. The best thing to do is, after you click the link, clear your cookies. Read more about clearing your cookies (http://www.aboutcookies.org/default.aspx?page=2)
So there you have it. All this talk about cookies made me hungry. Here is a great recipe for classic Chocolate Chip Cookies…
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
PREHEAT oven to 375° F.
COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.
BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.
* May be stored in refrigerator for up to 1 week or in freezer for up to 8 weeks.
FOR HIGH ALTITUDE BAKING (5,200 feet): Increase flour to 2 1/2 cups. Add 2 teaspoons water with flour and reduce both granulated sugar and brown sugar to 2/3 cup each. Bake drop cookies for 8 to 10 minutes and pan cookie for 17 to 19 minutes.
Share and Enjoy