January 31, 2000

By Karen Kenworthy

IN THIS ISSUE

It's a Snow Day! We received two year's worth of snow yesterday -- about 12 inches. Now schools and businesses are closed. Children and dogs wore themselves out this afternoon, playing in the snow. Now everyone is warm and snuggly in their homes. Smoke curls from every chimney.

Step outside my secluded Power Tools workshop, and the blanket of snow glows from the moonlight. The air is perfectly still. The stars have never been clearer, nor more beautiful. The silence overwhelms me. Why is the world so peaceful right after it snows? I think I'm in love.

Whoa! It's freezing out here! What am I doing? Back to the comforts of home ... I wasn't made for the outdoors!

Delete Button Deleted?

While I'm sitting by the fire trying to stop shivering, it's a good time to read some of my mail. A lot of folks wrote last week asking what happened to the Cookie Viewer's Delete button. It seemed to have vanished.

Fortunately, it's not gone. It's just hiding. At the moment, the Cookie Viewer can only delete cookies made by Microsoft's Internet Explorer (MSIE) Web browser. Although it can locate and display cookies made by Netscape's Navigator, it can't delete those cookies, yet.

To avoid confusion, I told the program to hide its Delete button whenever Netscape cookies were on display. The button reappears the moment you select a cookie location where MSIE has stored cookies. But since many folks have only one Web browser, and many of those use Netscape Navigator, a lot of people never saw the Delete button at all.

To avoid confusion (where have I heard that phrase before?), I told the newest version of the program to display its Delete button at all times. However, the button is only enabled when viewing cookies created by MSIE. The rest of the time the button is grayed, and can't be clicked. A better solution, giving the Cookie Viewer the power to delete Netscape cookies too, is in the works. But, as they say, it's not done yet.

Yuck! Bugs!

Sean, and someone with the improbable name of Fouru581, wrote to tell me the Cookie Viewer choked if asked to delete the last cookie in a list. I guess it didn't chew its food properly. Our old friend, programmer Brad Knaacks, also noticed this bug. He even sent along the exact location, within the source code, where the program died. Brad kindly left the program's repair to me, which I accomplished after only three tries. :)

It turns out the problem goes back to an enhancement added last week -- the one that caused the program to remember its place within the list of cookies, after digesting the cookies it was asked to delete. When the last cookie in a list was deleted, the Cookie Viewer became confused. It tried to highlight the "next" cookie in the list, overlooking the fact that there is no "next" cookie in that case.

The newest Cookie Viewer, version 2.2, solves this problem by highlighting the last remaining cookie in a list, in this special case. It also sports larger cookie display areas, and a cute new "About" dialog box. If you'd like to download a copy, it's available at https://www.karenware.com/powertools/ptcookie. While there, you can also download the program's revised source code, if you have a hankering to add a few Cookie Viewer features of your own.

Cookie Dispenser

Want a cookie? Yes, of course you can have one. What kind of mom do you think I am. :) In fact, you can have all the cookies you want. And all for free. Just visit my new Cookie Dispenser at http:www.karenware.com/powertools/dispenser.html.

My new Cookie Dispenser is a Web page that lets you make your own cookies. Enter a name for the data you'd like stored, then the data itself. You might enter, for example, a data name of "Name," and a data value of "Karen." Click the page's Bake button, and quicker than you can find your oven mitts, the new cookie is on your hard disk.

The page also displays all the cookies it finds. But don't be surprise if this list is short, or even empty. That's because a Web site can only access cookies it created. Cookies created by other Web sites are off-limits. So my Cookie Dispenser can only show you cookies created by the Cookie Dispenser itself. To see all your other cookies you'll need to use the good old Cookie Viewer program that runs on your PC.

We'll I'm almost warm again. I think from now on I'll admire the snow through my workshop windows. It's a good thing snow around here doesn't last too long. In a few days it will all be gone.

But before it, and I go, I want to wish my Mother a Happy Birthday! Mom turned 70 yesterday, but you'd never know it by seeing or talking to her. She's the most beautiful and wonderful woman I know. If you're every lucky enough to meet her in person, give her a big hug. And if you see me somewhere on the 'net this week, don't forget to wave and say Hi!