11.10.07

Fighting the Cookie Monster, Mac-style

Posted in Camino, Software at 2:11 am by

Shawn Wilsher (most famous in Camino circles for repeatedly breaking Camino while rewriting the Firefox download manager and Gecko content handling last summer ;) ) recently wrote about a problem plaguing trunk builds of Mozilla applications: cookies are mysteriously disappearing. Since the internet runs on cookies, this is not a pleasant development.

At the time he wrote, there were no Mac instructions on the page describing cookie logging, so I filed a bug and provided a patch (having been vaguely familiar with NSPR logging from looking at some bug so painful that I’ve blotted the details from my memory in the years since). I also mentioned that it would be “trivial” to write a small AppleScript applet to make the command-line incantations something more palatable for the average Mac user.

As we know, the devil is always in the details. It took me 30 seconds to write the code and about three hours of tweaking and debugging to get things working in a polished way that also handled many “unexpected” but common situations, as well as plugging in the localization framework from Troubleshoot Camino.

At the end of the day (or night), though, I’m happy to announce Enable Cookie Logging 1.0 (in English and rough French) for ease of fighting the Cookie Monster. Enable Cookie Logging will work with Camino, Firefox, and SeaMonkey and will run on Mac OS X 10.3.9 through Mac OS X 10.5. I hope this helps everyone get to the bottom of this cookie-eating bug (and remember, > /dev/null 2>&1 & is your friend!)

Edit: For those of you experiencing vanishing cookies, bug 403372 has all the details of the problem.

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