URL baggage?

To link to this thread I can write:

&#91url=“http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?threadid=218157”&#93this thread&#91/url&#93

simply inserting the threadid into the boilerplate code, or I can copy the URL from the thread and write:

&#91url=“http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?s=d8b3de210339747b61845389da235a1f&threadid=218157”&#93this thread&#91/url&#93.

What’s the difference? Both give the same result, and the difference seems to be the alphabet soup that is underlined in the copied URL example, in this case, s=d8b3de210339747b61845389da235a1f&. What is that stuff?

That’s the session hash.

Usually only guests and members who browse without cookies enabled will see it. It’s how the board keeps track of you.

To add to what Berkut said, the session ID is used to track users who don’t have a cookie enabled. When you first visit the boards, you’re assigned a session ID (probably based on your IP address and time of first access), and all the links are generated to use that. I’m not real up on the why of it, but that’s what it is.

That’s interesting. I note that if I try to use the copied URL as a paste-in to a post, vB strips out the session hash before displaying it.

Also, I do see it, even though, posting as I am, I’ve got cookies enabled.

I’m about to logoff completely to make a phone call. It’ll be interesting to see if that URL changes when I come back (as I always do).

Yes, that session hash has now been refried. Or rescrambled.

Hmmm. You should not be seeing it if you are set to browse the board with cookies. You 100% positive?

Oh yes. I see it now, and I wouldn’t be posting if cookies were not enabled.

The session hash is dynamic, so you will get a different one on every visit.