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From Adam Gordon <>
Subject Re: Session expiration and AJAX issues
Date Mon, 25 Feb 2008 17:03:20 GMT

 > Are you saying that certain browser will never expire their sessions?
 > Or are you saying that certain browsers kill their sessions before 12
 > hours (because they can't count that high)?

The former, i.e. that browsers will never expire the sessions.

 > The way I understand it - you are using ajax to keep a session alive.
 > Why not set the session expiration to live as long as the browser is
 > open, or for some other length of time? The session mechanism should
 > work. I don't understand the need to hack sessions using ajax.

As indicated from the tone of my original post (see the second sentence 
of the second paragraph in my original post), are not intentionally 
using AJAX to keep the session alive - it is a side-effect which we 
would like to obviate, hence the JavaScript counter.

 > Isn't that part of the browser's job?

Uh, I would have to argue that this is a HUGE no.  I think it's VERY 
obvious to anyone that has done any sort of web development with 
cross-browser compatibility in mind that browser makers cannot be relied 
upon to implement ANY sort of common standard in the same way (case and 
point look at how you instantiate an XmlHttpRequest object in JavaScript 
across different browsers, not to mention CSS functionality).  Besides 
if it were the browser's job, why would Tomcat even have support for 
it?  It's like making an assumption that user's never leave their 
browsers open or never click the back button.  I think the only thing 
one can absolutely rely on a user doing in a web application using it in 
a manner to which one had not considered.

So, all that said, is there anyone out there who's had experience with 
this problem and knows of a solution?  Thanks.


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