Monday, June 20th, 2005

Client-side state in IE… what about Mozilla?

Category: Editorial, IE

Jordan Frank talks about using IE’s DHTML behaviors to store state on a browser, and wonders when Mozilla will get similar functionality. He also does a lot of preaching, but we’ll forgive him for that.

The userData behaviour allows for any type of structured data to be stored. As such, it provides an excellent alternative to using cookies to store XML data on the client side. The Microsoft documentation states that there is a limit of 64KB that can be stored per page, with a limit of 640KB per domain [2]. In practice, we have yet to see any sort of limit on how much can be stored in a UserData store… the Mozilla folks need to get their butts in gear and implement some sort of data storage mechanism in the browser.

Or, just use Flash in any browser to accomplish the same thing. Actually, we talked with Brendan Eich about this at the Ajax Summit, and he mentioned that the Mozilla folks are open to implementing some sort of local store… so, who knows what the future holds in this space.

Posted by Ben Galbraith at 10:49 am
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There has been some discussions about this on the Greasemonkey mailinglist. It seems like a useful feature to have in Firefox. But for now, Greasemonkey implemented it’s own data store (GM_getData/GM_setData API).

One solution would be to implement “client-only cookies”. This would allow to use a very similar API to access the client data and the regular cookies. But the cookie jar would simply never send these special cookies back to the server. They would be only visible in the cookie management UI and from the script.

Comment by Julien Couvreur — June 23, 2005

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