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From "Glenn R. Golden" <ggol...@umich.edu>
Subject Pluto and Webapps and Session
Date Tue, 07 Oct 2003 00:41:26 GMT
I have a concern about how Pluto is designed to use separate webapps 
for the portal + Pluto, and for sets of portlets.  The http session is 
scoped at the webapp (servlet context) level; if a user is interacting 
with many different webapps, the user has many different session 
objects.

This has many advantages; the larger scoping of portlet session objects 
is by webapp (not portal), separate webapps are protected from each 
other, etc.

But, here's the problem.  If a user logs into a portal, and does some 
things here and there, establishing many sessions as the user moves 
around; and if the portlets the user is interacting with are keeping 
state in the session, which is the proper place for this, and the user 
stays on for a while, it's likely that some of the http sessions that 
represent this single portal session with this user will time out.

The session the user appears to have is with the portal, and that will 
stay fresh, but if the user doesn't come back to a particular portlet 
for a while, but does come back later, while in the same portal 
session, that portlet's webapp's session which has not seen any 
activity from this user for a while could time out and the user could 
be back at the starting state in that portlet.

I consider this a problem, since from the user's perspective that user 
has remained active, and then discovers that she has "lost work" since 
the state in a portlet has been cleared by the timeout.

I expect that this issue came up to the Pluto designers; I wonder what 
the thinking on this was, and if there's anything special in Pluto to 
avoid this problem, or if this was in fact considered a problem and not 
a further "feature".

Thanks.

- Glenn


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