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RFC 6265, "HTTP State Management Mechanism", April 2011

Source of RFC: httpstate (app)

Errata ID: 3931
Status: Rejected
Type: Technical

Reported By: Semyon Kholodnov
Date Reported: 2014-03-24
Rejected by: Barry Leiba
Date Rejected: 2014-03-24

Section 5.1.1 says:

   The user agent MUST use an algorithm equivalent to the following
   algorithm to parse a cookie-date.  Note that the various boolean
   flags defined as a part of the algorithm (i.e., found-time, found-
   day-of-month, found-month, found-year) are initially "not set".

   1.  Using the grammar below, divide the cookie-date into date-tokens.

   cookie-date     = *delimiter date-token-list *delimiter
   date-token-list = date-token *( 1*delimiter date-token )
   date-token      = 1*non-delimiter

   delimiter       = %x09 / %x20-2F / %x3B-40 / %x5B-60 / %x7B-7E
   non-delimiter   = %x00-08 / %x0A-1F / DIGIT / ":" / ALPHA / %x7F-FF
   non-digit       = %x00-2F / %x3A-FF

   day-of-month    = 1*2DIGIT ( non-digit *OCTET )
   month           = ( "jan" / "feb" / "mar" / "apr" /
                       "may" / "jun" / "jul" / "aug" /
                       "sep" / "oct" / "nov" / "dec" ) *OCTET
   year            = 2*4DIGIT ( non-digit *OCTET )
   time            = hms-time ( non-digit *OCTET )
   hms-time        = time-field ":" time-field ":" time-field
   time-field      = 1*2DIGIT

   2.  Process each date-token sequentially in the order the date-tokens
       appear in the cookie-date:

       1.  If the found-time flag is not set and the token matches the
           time production, set the found-time flag and set the hour-
           value, minute-value, and second-value to the numbers denoted
           by the digits in the date-token, respectively.  Skip the
           remaining sub-steps and continue to the next date-token.

       2.  If the found-day-of-month flag is not set and the date-token
           matches the day-of-month production, set the found-day-of-
           month flag and set the day-of-month-value to the number
           denoted by the date-token.  Skip the remaining sub-steps and
           continue to the next date-token.

       3.  If the found-month flag is not set and the date-token matches
           the month production, set the found-month flag and set the
           month-value to the month denoted by the date-token.  Skip the
           remaining sub-steps and continue to the next date-token.

       4.  If the found-year flag is not set and the date-token matches
           the year production, set the found-year flag and set the
           year-value to the number denoted by the date-token.  Skip the
           remaining sub-steps and continue to the next date-token.

It should say:

   The user agent MUST use an algorithm equivalent to the following
   algorithm to parse a cookie-date.  Note that the various boolean
   flags defined as a part of the algorithm (i.e., found-day-of-week,
   found-time, found-day-of-month, found-month, found-year) are 
   initially "not set".

   1.  Using the grammar below, divide the cookie-date into date-tokens.

   cookie-date     = *delimiter date-token-list *delimiter
   date-token-list = date-token *( 1*delimiter date-token )
   date-token      = 1*non-delimiter

   delimiter       = %x09 / %x20-2F / %x3B-40 / %x5B-60 / %x7B-7E
   non-delimiter   = %x00-08 / %x0A-1F / DIGIT / ":" / ALPHA / %x7F-FF
   non-digit       = %x00-2F / %x3A-FF

   day-of-week     = weekday / wkday
   wkday           = "mon" / "tue" / "wed" / "thu" / "fri" / "sat" /
                     "sun"
   weekday         = "monday" / "tuesday" / "wednesday" / "thursday" /
                     "friday" / "saturday" / "sunday"
   day-of-month    = 1*2DIGIT ( non-digit *OCTET )
   month           = ( "jan" / "feb" / "mar" / "apr" /
                       "may" / "jun" / "jul" / "aug" /
                       "sep" / "oct" / "nov" / "dec" ) *OCTET
   year            = 2*4DIGIT ( non-digit *OCTET )
   time            = hms-time ( non-digit *OCTET )
   hms-time        = time-field ":" time-field ":" time-field
   time-field      = 1*2DIGIT

   2.  Process each date-token sequentially in the order the date-tokens
       appear in the cookie-date:

       1.  If the found-day-of-week flag is not set and the token 
           matches the day-of-week production, set found-day-of-week 
           flag. Skip the remaining steps and continue to the next 
           date-token.

       2.  If the found-time flag is not set and the token matches the
           time production, set the found-time flag and set the hour-
           value, minute-value, and second-value to the numbers denoted
           by the digits in the date-token, respectively.  Skip the
           remaining sub-steps and continue to the next date-token.

       3.  If the found-day-of-month flag is not set and the date-token
           matches the day-of-month production, set the found-day-of-
           month flag and set the day-of-month-value to the number
           denoted by the date-token.  Skip the remaining sub-steps and
           continue to the next date-token.

       4.  If the found-month flag is not set and the date-token matches
           the month production, set the found-month flag and set the
           month-value to the month denoted by the date-token.  Skip the
           remaining sub-steps and continue to the next date-token.

       5.  If the found-year flag is not set and the date-token matches
           the year production, set the found-year flag and set the
           year-value to the number denoted by the date-token.  Skip the
           remaining sub-steps and continue to the next date-token.

Notes:

4.1.1 defines "sane-cookie-date" as "rfc1123-date, defined in [RFC2616], Section 3.3.1". However, both RFC1123 and RFC2616 mandate that date starts with day of the week, and indeed, most servers send cookies where Expires starts with day of the week.

In this particular case (Expire field) the day-of-week part of the date is insignificant, and client MAY ignore it.
--VERIFIER NOTES--
The reporter misunderstood the algorithm at first, thinking that it would fail when it couldn't parse the weekday token. In fact, the algorithm actually has the flexibility to ignore tokens it doesn't care about, and to handle tokens in any order. So there's no error here.

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