[thelist] hours based access for web content

Bill Moseley moseley at hank.org
Mon Dec 29 10:03:18 CST 2008

On Mon, Dec 29, 2008 at 01:35:00PM +0530, Viggie Bala wrote:
> Hi all,
> One of my regular client have a new requirement.  He wanted to allow a
> part of his website - his research data - on subscription, which is
> fine.  But his preference is to allow access on hours basis instead of
> days or months.  He is looking to collect micro payments (say $2 for 1
> hour) instead of targeting normal charges in these difficult times.

An hour of what?  Usage?  How do you define usage?  Someone on a fast
connection may be able to download/view a large part of the site in an
hour where someone with a slow connection or that reads each page
one-by-one will only get a little content.

Or do you measure the time between login an when they log out?  And
what if the user closes their browser and fails to log out?  Does that
eat up all their hours?

> I'm at a loss to find a solution that keeps track of time based access &
> restrict/logout when the time expires.

Well, if you want to just say "your hour ends in exactly one hour from
now" then that's pretty easy.  You can either manage it on the server
(in the database, for example), or I suppose you can put the cutoff
time in a cookie (with a checksum).  But, again, if it was static
research data then why wouldn't someone just grab as much as they can
in that hour?

Bill Moseley
moseley at hank.org
Sent from my iMutt

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