Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/HTTP cookie

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HTTP cookie[edit]

I think this article now reasonably covers the topic of (Internet) cookies, thanks also to some comments it received in the peer review (Wikipedia:Peer review/HTTP cookie/archive1). This is a self nomination. - Liberatore(T) 21:05, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

  • Small objection. The lists in the paragraphs should be converted to prose, otherwise looks fine. ToC may be a tad overlong, perhaps some sections could be merged? RyanGerbil10 00:34, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
    I have removed some lists. Beside the "Implementation" section, the only list I have left is that on misconceptions, which is a bit long and probably looks better as a list. I however do not insist on this: if you feel that it would better restated as prose, I will accept this advice. As for the "Implementation" section, here I am using lists for indicating a sequence of steps, so I believe that these lists should not be converted. As for the TOC, maybe a viable solution could be to technically remove second-level heading from the TOC (I will check whether this is feasible). - Liberatore(T) 13:05, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
    Objection withdrawn. Sorry about the delay in response, I am setting up a new computer. The article has improved greatly, good job. RyanGerbil10 05:50, 26 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Support. Object. The article is slanted towards the downsides of cookies while spending little time on their useful applications. The lead is a small paragraph describing what cookies are, and then a large one criticizing them. In the main text, only a brief list explains what cookies are used for, and then the next several pages are spent detailing various downsides to them (with scary names like "cookie poisoning"). This is followed by a list of 4 "alternatives" which are presented as viable solutions but are in fact inadequate for most applications (track by IP address? use a nonstandard plugin? come on). It is mentioned that the CIA used cookies as though this were a sinister conspiracy, when in fact it was almost certainly an error on the part of one of their web designers (because it's so hard to make a useful website without them!). To balance all the criticism out, I'd like to see the beginning of the article include a variety of scenarios for how cookies are used (here is how Amazon uses cookies, here is how Wikipedia uses cookies, etc) and the "misconceptions" moved up closer to the lead. The lead image would also be better replaced by a screenshot of a shopping cart or something. Redquark 03:18, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
    After reading your comments, I realized that the article may look slightly POV against cookies. However, I believe that the main problem was with the initial sections (the Implementation section is more balanced). I have therefore addressed your main objection by:
    • adding a third paragraph in the lead, explaining the misconceptions about cookies
    • moving the "Misconception" paragraph much higher (it is now the third paragraph)
    • expanded the purpose section a bit (this is also to follow the suggestion above to remove lists)
    I think that these changes address the main point of your objection. As for the other points you make:
    • For the lead picture, your idea is good, but I would like to use a free image. Any suggestion?
    • Cookies have some drawbacks that need to be explained; note that the very first drawback is that cookies are not precise in tracing users, which attenuates somehow the privacy concerns; "cookie poisoning" is a technical term; I do not see how I can go without it;
    • The drawbacks of the alternatives are explained. For example, the section on IP addresses begins with "An unreliable technique for tracing users..."; I would also like to remark that this section should clarify that tracing can be done without cookies, and therefore rejecting cookies does not completely eliminate the privacy concerns. I have slightly modified the lead of this section, to make hopefully clear that these alternatives have drawbacks.
    • How cookies are used for shopping carts and preference/authentication is explained in the Implementation section.
    • I have explained that CIA stated that cookies were set unintentionally.
    Actually, there should be a point somewhere saying that this is an actual possibility because of the use of software libraries or tools that set cookies by default even if they are not used. Any suggestion as where this could be said? - Liberatore(T) 13:05, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
Much better now, I'm satisfied. I'd still like a lead image showing an application rather than internal representation, but don't know where to find a free one either. Redquark 17:00, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Support..presents good and bad points of cookies, misconceptions, and how they are used in terms many laymen could understand. Rlevse 18:28, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Support Kevin baas 18:56, 24 January 2006 (UTC) Thorough.
  • Comment - I was expecting to be told why they are called "cookies". Magic cookie does not tell me either. -- ALoan (Talk) 01:58, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
    Good question. "HTTP cookie" comes straight from "magic cookie"; as for where "magic cookie" comes from, these Web pages [1] [2] offer a possible explanation. I have not added it to the article because it seems to me not to be verified enough. - Liberatore(T) 12:51, 25 January 2006 (UTC)