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From Igor Sysoev ...@rambler-co.ru>
Subject Re: mod_proxy distinguish cookies?
Date Sun, 25 Apr 2004 15:59:21 GMT
On Sat, 24 Apr 2004, Neil Gunton wrote:

> Neil Gunton wrote:
> >
> > Hi all,
> >
> > I apologise in advance if this is obvious or otherwise been answered
> > elsewhere, but I can't seem to find any reference to it.
> >
> > I am using Apache 1.3.29 with mod_perl, on Linux 2.4. I am running
> > mod_proxy as a caching reverse proxy front end, and mod_perl on the
> > backend. This works really well, but I have noticed that mod_proxy does
> > not seem to be able to distinguish requests as being different if the
> > URLs are the same, but they contain different cookies. I would like to
> > be able to enable more personalization on my site, which would best be
> > done using cookies. The problem is that when a page has an expiration
> > greater than 'now', then any request to the same URL will get the cache
> > version, even if the requests have different cookies. Currently I have
> > to pass options around as part of the URL in order to make the requests
> > look different to mod_proxy.
> >
> > Am I missing something here? Or, will this be included in either future
> > versions of mod_proxy or the equivalent module in Apache 2.x? Any
> > insights greatly appreciated.
>
> I should perhaps make clear that I do have cookies working through the
> proxy just fine, for pages that are set to be 'no-cache'. So this isn't
> an issue with the proxy being able to pass cookies to/from the backend
> and browser (which I think I have seen mentioned before as a bugfix),
> but rather with mod_proxy simply being able to distinguish otherwise
> identical URL requests that have different cookies, and cache those as
> different requests.
>
> So for example, the request "GET /somedir/somepage.html?xxx=yyy" passed
> with a cookie that value 'pics=small' should be seen as different from
> another identical request, but with cookie value 'pics=large'. Currently
> my tests indicate that mod_proxy returns the same cached page for each
> request.
>
> I assume that mod_proxy only checks the actual request string, and not
> the HTTP header which contains the cookie.
>
> Obviously, under this scheme, if you were using cookies to track
> sessions then all requests would get passed to the backend server - so,
> perhaps it would be a nice additional feature to be able to configure,
> through httpd.conf, how mod_proxy (or its successor) pays attention to
> cookies. For example, you might say something to the effect of "ignore
> this cookie" or "differentiate requests using this cookie". Then we
> could have sitewide options like e.g. 'pics' (to set what size pictures
> are shown), and this could be used to distinguish cached pages, but
> other cookies might be ignored on some pages. This would allow for more
> flexibility, with some cached pages being "sensitive" to cookies, while
> others are not. An obvious way this would be useful is in the use of
> login cookies. These will be passed in by the browser for every page on
> the site, but this doesn't mean we want to distinguish cached pages
> based on it for every page. Some user-specific pages would have
> 'no-cache' set, while other pages could be set to ignore this login
> cookie, thus gaining the benefits of the proxy caching. This would be
> useful for pages that have no user-specific or personalizable aspects -
> they could be cached regardless of who is logged in.
>
> Sorry if this wasn't clear from the original post, just wanted to
> clarify and expand... any advice on this would be VERY welcomed, since
> my options with personalization are currently rather limited.
>
> Also, if this is actually addressed to the wrong list for some reason
> then a pointer would be much appreciated...

mod_accel ( http://sysoev.ru/en/ ) allows to take cookies into account while
caching:

AccelCacheCookie  some_cookie_name another_cookie_name

You can set it on per-location basis.

Besides, my upcoming light-weight http and reverse proxy server nginx
will allow to do it too.


Igor Sysoev
http://sysoev.ru/en/

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