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Using Cookies With JavaScript
Store and retrieve persistent data with cookies in JavaScript

| What's In A Name? |

It's not very difficult to create custom cookie-handling code - after all, all you're really doing is parsing and manipulating a set of values in an encoded string. JavaScript makes it even easier by exposing a "document.cookie" element that does most of the dirty work for you - all you need to do is give it the cookie data to be written. Consider the following example, which illustrates:


<html>
<head>

<script language = "JavaScript">
<!-- start hiding
function writeCookie()
{

   // ask for input
   var name = prompt("What's your name?", "");

   // set expiry date
   var d = new Date("January 31, 2004");
   var cd = d.toGMTString();

   // set cookie parameters
   var c = "username=" + escape(name) + ";expires=" + cd;

   // write cookie
   document.cookie = c;
}

// stop hiding -->
</script>

</head>

<body onLoad="writeCookie()">
</body>

</html>


Most of this is pretty simple - the prompt() method takes care of popping up a box for user input, and the corresponding value is encoded into the cookie string for storage. Similarly, a Date object is instantiated with the cookie's expiry date, converted to the requisite format using the Date object's toGMTString() method and the resulting value is added to the cookie string as part of the "expires" attribute explained earlier. Once the cookie string is ready, the "document.cookie" property takes care of writing it to a file.

Now, try running the code above in your browser. You should see an input box. Enter your name into the box. The value you entered into the box should now be saved as a cookie to your hard drive. If you're the suspicious type, verify this by looking in your browser's cookies directory - you should see a cookie with contents like this:


username
Guru
localhost/cookies/
0
4249743488
29612272
2610381856
29612264



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Read more, or grab your copy now!


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