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"Open Door" Coding Standard "Open Door" Coding Standard

The coding standards on this page are applicable only for sensitive "interactive" areas (as defined above), where one or more non-administrative users may be granted access to update functions on a database, or where we offer any other form which can be used to post text to a public area.

1. Does this form or database offer update capability? If no, exit this checking logic. If yes, continue.

2. If (1), check to see if this user already has a cookie for this form or database. If yes, update the cookie (so it doesn't expire) and give the user access to available update functions. In that case, exit this checking logic. If no, go to step 3.

3. Test to see if this user accepts cookies by attempting to send the cookie. Check to see if a cookie is now defined for this user. If yes, update the cookie (so it doesn't expire) and give the user access to available update functions. In that case, exit this checking logic. If no, restrict this user's privileges to browse, search or inquire only.

4. Do not badger the user to accept or authorize cookies. Display a passive message on the screen with one or more of the following messages:

  • This database can be updated by one or more of the following functions (add) (modify) (delete). For further information, click(PREFS button) (URL to another page).

  • Current user has update privileges as shown by the function buttons displayed on this page.
  • Update privileges are granted when your browser has been instructed to accept cookies from this site.
  • Current user has no update privileges or has declined them.

5. Allow the user to elect update privileges via a PREFS button or other link device. This serves the user who may not automatically reject cookies, but wants to look around before making a decision. When this courtesy makes little sense, on databases whose sole function is to allow updates such as a Guest Log, just offer the cookie to the browser.

6. Set other privileges, such as user preferences for customizing the page appearance, at the same time.

Even though cookies are "old hat", most private sites offer very limited user "update" of site content; therefore cookie usage at this kind of site is rather limited and unexpected. We most particularly welcome your questions or comments on this subject.

Regards,

End

©Alex Forbes
and Rocky & Fluffy Computer Co.
January 30, 2001

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