myterm: Rigorous or unusually severe.
Derived from Draco, a politician in Athens whose legal code provided for exceedingly harsh punishments. In the world, I refer to those developers who seek to validate their code against W3C standards, specifically XHTML 1.0 Strict and CSS level 1.
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Javascript Browser Cookies - Retrieving a Cookie

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Get a Cookie - Javascript

The javascript cookie methods on these pages demonstrate how to:
  • set/put a cookie - Try it
  • get/read a cookie - Try it
  • delete/remove a cookie - Try it
  • restrict webpage access based on a cookie - Try it

Retrieve the Cookie

This sample page demonstrates how to retrieve a client-side cookie from the visitor's browser using Javascript. This is the cookie that we set on the Setting a Javascript Cookie page.
Retrieve a Javascript Cookie

Your cookie currently holds this value:
The following sample code demonstrates one method for getting the previously stored cookie. Implement the following javascript function call on your HTML page at the point in the document flow that you wish to display the stored cookie value:
<script type="text/javascript">cookieGet();</script>
The cookieGet() javascript function needs to be defined, either before the ending <head> tag in the current document or in an external javascript file, as follows:
var cookieText = "Put your desired cookie value here";
var cookiePrefix = "";
var myPage = location.href;
var wwwFlag = myPage.indexOf('www');
if (wwwFlag > 0) {
cookiePrefix = "www";
var cookieName = cookiePrefix + "cbCookie";
var YouWrote;
function cookieGet() {
if (document.cookie) {
index = document.cookie.indexOf(cookie_name);
if (index != -1) {
namestart = (document.cookie.indexOf("=", index) + 1);
nameend = document.cookie.indexOf("cbEndCookie;", index);
if (nameend == -1) {
nameend = 0;
YouWrote = document.cookie.substring(namestart, nameend);
return YouWrote;

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Notice that our cookie-related variables are declared outside (before) the cookieGet() function. This ensures that the cookieName will be available from elsewhere on our HTML page, which will be helpful if we wish to read, or get, the cookie again elsewhere on the page. The wwwFlag checks to see if there is a 'www' in the domain name, and attaches the prefix accordingly. Without this differentiation, trouble can arise when we attempt to read the cookie, since a unique cookie is set depending on whether or not the 'www' is present in the domain name.

About the Cookie

The cookie is a tiny, harmless (dare I say friendly?) little guy - just a plain text file. Mozilla browsers will aggregate cookies from all websites into one file called, appropriately enough, cookies.txt. Within Internet Explorer, each unique website that puts cookies on your machine has a separate cookie file. For Windows XP, the default cookie locations are indicated below:

C:\Documents and Settings\[XPuser]\Application Data\Mozilla\Profiles\[your_profile]\cookies.txt

C:\Documents and Settings\[XPuser]\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\[your_profile]\cookies.txt

IE: (two locations)
1. C:\Documents and Settings\[XPuser]\Cookies
2. C:\Documents and Settings\[XPuser]\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\cookie_name.txt

In IE, the cookie names appear differently, depending on the directory that you're viewing. The names also vary depending on whether the cookie is set by a page in the root directory of the website, or in a subdirectory.

1. In the first IE cookie location:
A cookie set by a page in the root directory has a filename in the format:
'[XPuser]@domainname.txt', with the domain name extension omitted.
A cookie set by a page residing in a subdirectory has a filename in the format:

2. In the second IE cookie location:
Cookie set from root has filename 'Cookie:[XPuser]@domainname/'.
Cookie set from subdirectory has filename '[directory_name]'.

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