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I first noticed this because I set my preference on Google to show 100 results per page -- but all of a sudden I was seeing the default ten. Then I realized that I had another Google window open that showed the 100. Then later I was visiting Amazon and they forgot my name!
All along I thought that Brett had something buggy in his cookie code here, because I would be logged in and all of a sudden get a screen that called me "Guest".
I think it's the window opened with target="_top" that gets Cookie Amnesia, because there are other bugs in new windows opened that way as well -- like they have sporadic trouble actually sending a request to the server. I'm already used to clicking on such links several times in order to get the page to load.
This cookie thing could impact design of a website if you are tracking user sessions, preferences, shopping carts, etc.
Ah ha! Vindication! *grin*
No such construct. _blank is the only legal way to open a new window. Yes, lots and lots of people use _top and it works by taking advantage of browser defaults, but this may be where it breaks down. I'm slowly weeding out any remaining ones I run into.
However, my bug-find stands. I've confirmed that it is sporadic, but NN4.7 has bugs around target="_blank" (yes, that's what I actually mean, _blank). These are most visible when the new window won't actually call out to the server for the site. But even after a page is actually downloaded, the cookies are seomtimes out of reach for the new window.
This has real implications for anyone using cookies on a site. If you are tracking user sessions, you will miss some data. And the user you so efficiently welcomed by name will all of a sudden become a generic visitor/guest. If the visitor needs to perform some action from the new window, they may need to log-in again. Their shopping cart may be lost, etc.
I'd say the moral is avoid using target="_blank" while Netscape 4.7 has a decent user base.