[erlang-questions] Handling user sessions in Misultin or any http server?

Max Lapshin <>
Sat Jun 4 20:39:23 CEST 2011


On Sat, Jun 4, 2011 at 10:15 PM, Wilson MacGyver <> wrote:
> storing sessions on server has been a very common practice, esp due to cookie
> has a limit of 4K on the browser side. Not to mention most cookie
> store I've seen,
> store data in plain text. There is also the overhead of cookie read
> from browser esp if you
> are working on high traffic site. thus, the session hash id set it
> cookies that points to server
> data is the common practice.
>
> http://wonko.com/post/why-you-probably-shouldnt-use-cookies-to-store-session-data
>
> but regardless of where is stored, the question is really about are
> there any modules
> that exists for handling user sessions.
>

I haven't found anything serious in that text. Just "don't do it".

1) In 99% times you need to store only user_id in session. Nothing
more. There is no secret in this information
2) It is absoulutely ok to send data plaintext in cookies.
3) Cookies are signed, so server just verify if cookie is not broken.
4) It doesn't differ: either client send you some magic "user_id" or
"session_id". Difference is only in storing these sessions.
User records doesn't expire, but sessions expire and you _have_ to track them.


Worsest problem in server session storage is that you need to expire
them and delete.
Second problem is that you need to share them across servers.
Server session store doesn't differ from database and still User
record _must_ be fetched on each request or you will be required to
maintain coherence between database and session storage.


So, server storage:
1) has no benefits
2) is a very complicated mechanism
3) add one more database select (because session storage is a
database) on each request.
4) make scaling harder

Without any profits. What for do you advise it?



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