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From "Christian Allen" <>
Subject Re: Apache Y2K bug in mod_usertrack.c
Date Tue, 30 Jun 1998 15:41:56 GMT
Did some work with cookies and dug up some info that might be useful.

True, Netscape claims that the correct format NOW is four digit dates, and
four digit dates do in fact work... for Netscape 4.x (Communicator), that
is.  However, 3.x and below do NOT accept them.  It seems that Netscape
originally had a 2-digit standard, and then with all of the Y2K hype and
probably a few complaints, changed to a four digit date for Communicator.
Fortunately, 4.x also understands the 2-digit format, and so the best way to
ensure that your expiration date is legible to the client's browser is to
use 2-digit dates.

However, this does not limit expiration dates to the year 2000; if you use
an expiration year of "13", for example, it is interpreted as 2013, NOT
1913!  In fact, you can use an expiration year of up to "37", and it will be
understood as "2037" by both MSIE and Netscape versions 3.x and up (not sure
about versions previous to those).  Not sure why Netscape used that
particular year as its cut-off point, but my guess is that it was in respect
to UNIX's 2038 problem.  Netscape/MSIE 4.x seem to be able to understand
2-digit years beyond that, at least until "50" for sure (I think they
understand up until about "70", but not for sure).

Summary:  Mozilla 3.x and up understands two digit dates up until "37"
(2037).  Mozilla 4.x understands up until at least "50" (2050) in 2-digit
form, but also understands 4-digit years, which can probably reach up until
9999.  Your best bet for sending a long-life cookie is to send it for some
time late in the year "37".

Hope this is of some use to you guys.

Christian Allen
Sane Solutions LLC

"Work fascinates me.  I could sit here and watch it all day."

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