State

(n.) The last-known or current status of an application or a process. The terms maintaining state and/or managing state refer to keeping track of the condition of the process.

The Internet is intrinsically stateless because each request for a new Web page is processed without any knowledge of previous pages requested. This is one of the chief drawbacks to the HTTP protocol. Because maintaining state is extremely useful, programmers have developed a number of techniques to add state to the World Wide Web. These include server APIs, such as NSAPI and ISAPI, and the use of cookies.

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