Cookies Can Give Servers Indigestion

For the third time in the past few weeks, I had an issue connecting to a site and the solution turned out to be completely not obvious: I deleted the cookies for the site. I tend not to like to delete cookies since I find it more convenient for (trusted) sites to remember me. Deleting cookies is something I do as a last resort after clearing cache and restarting my browser.

One site kept putting me in a login loop even though I was entering the correct password. If I purposely mistyped the password, it had an error message as it should. When I asked for support, one of the suggestions was to clear my cookies. I hate being told that so I resisted it. I then remembered that I didn’t have to delete all my cookies thanks to the Firefox Extension, Web Developer Toolbar, which allows for more granular deletion of cookies. I then deleted the cookie(s) for that domain and I was finally able to log in.

cnn.com showed me a connection reset error. I wasn’t able to access it for a few days. Since connection reset is a server error, I had no idea that it could be due to my cookies. Since I was able to fix the previous issue by clearing cookies, I tried it with cnn.com. It worked!

meetup.com showed me this message:

We’re Sorry

Our server wasn’t able to process your request.

This may be a temporary problem due to an upgrade, so please try again in a few minutes.

I tried again a day or so later and I got the same message. I figured that the upgrade couldn’t be lasting that long or that I was so unlucky that every time I went to meetup, they were doing an upgrade. Today, I tried clearing my cookies for the domain and again, that fixed the issue.

So weird.

I don’t remember having issues like this before but then again maybe I had issues but didn’t realize that clearing the cookies would help.

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