I've written a moderately-sized Web application that utilizes MySQL and PHP5.
I have an on-going problem where Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 (IE6) and Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 (IE7) lose the PHP Session ID cookie (PHPSESSID). Of course, when this happens, the application loses track of the current user and the user is forced off the system and required to sign on again. As you can imagine, it's especially annoying to users.
I must be doing something wrong because if this problem were wide spread, I'm sure there would be a lot of grumbling by users and developers of PHP-driven Web applications.
Here's what I know about the issue. I've carefully monitored the HTTP traffic taking place between the Web application and the client browser using Fiddler2 and Live HTTP headers. Here's is what I've found:
Only in IE6 and IE7...
1. The browser accepts the PHPSESSID cookie just fine and users are able to sign on just fine and use the application for some undetermined period of time.
2. At some point, the browser loses or deletes the PHPSESSID cookie prematurely/unexpectedly. This is evidenced by the fact that the browser does not send the cookie back with the HTTP requests as it should even though the cookie was sent with subsequent requests. All of sudden, the PHPSESSID cookie is no more. I presume it is dropped or deleted by the browser, but I'm not sure why.
3. Mozilla Firefox works perfectly. I've not once had this problem in Firefox. This leads me to believe this issue is something browser specific or something about the PHPSESSID cookie that IE6 and IE7 do not like. I've tested this on many computers running IE6 and IE7 with various security and privacy settings and the results are no different. IE6 and IE7 drop the cookie unexpectedly while the session is still active.
Anyone have an leads on this issue? I've "googled" this issue it to death and there's nothing else out there that I can find.
P.S. I do not want to go to including the session ID in URLs as I do not prefer that method of session tracking for a number of reasons.