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< The monolithic Laszlo application   Laszlo 3.0b2 released, a step in the right direction >
Don't lose data when your session times out

I'm posting this as a reply to the following blog post and more particularly the following line.

"Your server-side session has expired, and your work is gone."

The RIFE framework has solved this many years ago. We have something similar as actions, but we call them elements. Elements are components that talk together through a site structure. That site structure is not limited to be two-dimensional, you can layer many site structures on top of each-other with child triggers that make the engine jump to the underlying layer.

If a request arrives that is intended for a lower layer, and the conditions for the upper layer's child triggers aren't present, the initial request state is serialized and preserved. You can perform a flow of any kind of complexity in the upper layer, the serialized state will be automatically passed around. As soon as the trigger to go to the underlying layer occurs, the original request state is de-serialized and the element for who the original request was intended receives the data you sent initially.

We call this behavioural inheritance and implemented authentication with it. So when your user session times out, you don't go beyond the authentication site structure where you can identify yourself. As soon as you have successfully identified, a child event is triggered and you go to the lower layer that receives the data you posted when the session timed out.

If you want to try this out do the following:

  • go to the demo installation of our Bamboo forum, which has been written in RIFE
  • identify as the admin or as the moderator (you can also register if you prefer)
  • go to a topic
  • start a reply
  • clear your cookies
  • fill in the form fields
  • send the data
  • fill in your credentials in the authentication form
  • the post should have gone through as if nothing happened

This is one of many areas where a powerful framework can help you. Many frameworks merely structure well know approaches and practices in a personal fashion. They don't offer many new solutions to complex problems. Be sure to evaluate which framework you choose for a project thoroughly, there might be lesser known alternatives that maybe offer ready-made solutions to many of the problems that you will be facing.

posted by Geert Bevin in RIFE on Mar 15, 2005 12:06 PM : 0 comments [permalink]
 

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