CNET GLOSSARY: Terms for the techie
The status of a process, transaction, or setting. An application is said to have state if it keeps track of the last time you used it, your settings, and the configuration. For instance, if you set your word processor to spell-check automatically, that setting will remain in force the next time you open the application. The Web, on the other hand, is stateless. Web servers consider each page request as random and anonymous. To add state to a Web site, developers use devices such as cookies, which store information that the Web server can access when a particular user interacts with the server. For example, if you visit a Web site that requires you to register, the site will recognize you when you log in the next time. So the moment you log in, the page goes from being stateless to having state.
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