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Cookie Viewer

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During the development of a web application that supports cookies, it is almost always a necessity to have the knowledge of what is being persisted in the cookie.

Okay…. what options does one have to achieve this?

hmm….. lets see… well I can think of three ways of doing this:

1. Write a web page application to read all the cookie key/value pairs and display them.
2. Write a windows application to read all the cookie key/value pairs and display them.
3. Open the cookie file manually and go through the content.

I have been there and done that … I mean during the course of my s/w development activities in the past I have myself implemented all three ways that I mentioned above and yet was not happy with the ease of use.

What if I could find some freeware that does the hard part of fetching all the cookies and enumerating them on a pane that is visually appealing.

Finally !!! I have stumbled on one such freeware utility called IE Cookies Viewer. This utility that displays the details of all cookies that Internet Explorer stores on your computer.


Following are a few things that this utility allows you to do:

1. Sort the cookies list by any column you want, by clicking the column header. A second click sorts the column in descending order.
2. Find a cookie in the list by specifying the name of the Web site.
3. Select and delete the unwanted cookies.
4. Save the cookies to a readable text file.
5. Copy cookie information into the clipboard.
6. Automatically refresh the cookies list when a Web site sends you a cookie.
7. Display the cookies of other users and from other computers.
8. Open the IECookiesView utility directly from Internet Explorer toolbar.
9. Change the content of a cookie !
10. Export your cookies to Netscape/Mozilla cookies file.
11. Block specific Web sites from using cookies through the cookies blocking mechanism of Internet Explorer 6.0.

It can be downloaded at NirSoft. This site has a lot of some cool stuff/utilities that is free for download.

ASP.Net Permanent Cookie vs Temporary Cookie (Update: 03/17/08)

When a cookie is assigned a value without defining the “Expires” property, that cookie would expire as soon as the browser is closed and will be called as a temporary cookie.

A permanent cookie is one where the “Expires” property is defined for that cookie, it will be persisted on the client computer and will expire as per the definition of the “Expires” property.

Internet Explorer on Windows (XP/2000/2003) writes its cookies in the C:\Documents and Settings\[user_name]\Cookies folder.

References:
1. NirSoft

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Written by cavemansblog

March 14, 2008 at 6:13 pm

Developer’s handkit

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However skilled you are as a technician, without the appropriate tools you would still be a dud. Just like a craftsman knows his/her tools, a software professional also has to know the tools that are apt for the job. Tools that are handy and that make you look professional is what I am talking about. I have found and used a few tools over the years that have helped me a lot at my work.

Following are some of them and a brief description of what they do. Most of them are free to use and others are only free to try…

Fiddler:

Have you ever found yourself wondering how Microsoft Internet Explorer interacts with your Web application? Have you encountered a strange performance bottleneck that you can’t track down? Are you curious about which cookies are being sent, or what downloaded content is marked as cacheable? [1]

Microsoft Fiddler can help you answer these questions, and many more. Fiddler is an HTTP debugging proxy that logs all HTTP traffic between your computer and the Internet. Fiddler enables you to inspect all HTTP traffic, set breakpoints, and “fiddle” with incoming or outgoing data. Fiddler is much simpler to use than NetMon or other network debuggers because it exposes only HTTP traffic and does so in a user-friendly format. [1]

Fiddler includes a simple but powerful Microsoft JScript .NET event-based scripting subsystem flexible enough to support a broad array of HTTP debugging tasks. Written in C# on the Microsoft .NET Framework, Fiddler is available as an unsupported PowerToy for Internet Explorer. [1]

You can learn more about fiddler from MSDN athttp://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb250446.aspx

HttpWatch

HttpWatch is a tool that integrates with Internet Explorer and records detailed information about HTTP as you access a web site or application. If you access a site that uses secure HTTPS connections, HttpWatch automatically displays the decrypted form of the network traffic. [2]

I have used the free version called the HttpWatch Basic. This is an awesome tool for performance measurement and analysis.

IE Developer Toolbar

The Internet Explorer Developer Toolbar provides several features for exploring and understanding Web pages. These features enable you to:
1. Explore and modify the document object model (DOM) of a Web page.
2. Locate and select specific elements on a Web page through a variety of techniques.
3. Selectively disable Internet Explorer settings.
4. View HTML object class names, ID’s, and details such as link paths, tab index values, and access keys.
5. Outline tables, table cells, images, or selected tags.
6. Validate HTML, CSS, WAI, and RSS web feed links.
7. Display image dimensions, file sizes, path information, and alternate (ALT) text.
8. Immediately resize the browser window to a new resolution.
9. Selectively clear the browser cache and saved cookies. Choose from all objects or those associated with a given domain.
10. Display a fully featured design ruler to help accurately align and measure objects on your pages.
11. Find the style rules used to set specific style values on an element.
12. View the formatted and syntax colored source of HTML and CSS.

The Developer Toolbar can be pinned to the Internet Explorer browser window or floated separately.

DotNet Reflecter

Lutz Roeder’s .Net Reflecter a class browser, explorer, analyzer and documentation viewer for .NET. Reflector allows to easily view, navigate, search, decompile and analyze .NET assemblies in C#, Visual Basic and IL [4] . There are several AddIns that enhance the richness of this application. The AddIns can be downloaded at from http://www.codeplex.com/reflectoraddins

Ndoc – .Net 1.x

NDoc is a code documentation generator for .NET 1.x. NDoc generates class library documentation from .NET assemblies and the XML documentation files generated by the C# compiler. NDoc uses pluggable documenters to generate documentation in several different formats, including the MSDN-style HTML Help format (.chm), the Visual Studio .NET Help format (HTML Help 2), and MSDN-online style web pages. [5]


Sand Castle .Net 2.0

Sandcastle produces accurate, MSDN style, comprehensive documentation by reflecting over the source assemblies and optionally integrating XML Documentation Comments. Sandcastle has the following key features: [6]
1. Works with or without authored comments
2. Supports Generics and .NET Framework 2.0
3. Sandcastle has 2 main components (MrefBuilder and Build Assembler)
4. MrefBuilder generates reflection xml file for Build Assembler
5. Build Assembler includes syntax generation, transformation..etc
6. Sandcastle is used internally to build .Net Framework documentation
This article was very helpful to me to get me going with learning to use this application: http://www.codeplex.com/DocProject/Wiki/View.aspx?title=Creating%20a%20DocProject%20for%20a%20new%20solution&referringTitle=Home

Araxis Merge

File comparison (diff), merging and folder synchronization has never been so simple before araxis. This application can be used it to compare and merge source code, web pages and other text files with native application performance. Compare images and binary files. Synchronize folders. Perform code reviews and audits. Work with source hierarchies containing thousands of files. [7] I would highly recommend to try the demo version and am pretty sure that you will be very impressed with the features offered by this application.

FxCop

FxCop is an application that analyzes managed code assemblies (code that targets the .NET Framework common language runtime) and reports information about the assemblies, such as possible design, localization, performance, and security improvements. Many of the issues concern violations of the programming and design rules set forth in the Design Guidelines for Class Library Developers, which are the Microsoft guidelines for writing robust and easily maintainable code by using the .NET Framework. [8]FxCop is intended for class library developers. However, anyone creating applications that should comply with the .NET Framework best practices will benefit. FxCop is also useful as an educational tool for people who are new to the .NET Framework or who are unfamiliar with the .NET Framework Design Guidelines. [8]

Reference:
1. MSDN
2. HttpWatch dot com
3. IE Development Toolbar
4. .Net Reflecter
5. Ndoc
6. Sand Castle
7. Araxis
8. Microsoft FxCop

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