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Firefox doesn't send JSESSIONID in GET applet-jar request

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I have a simple jsf page with nothing but a helloWorld-applet included (downloaded from Sun).
The page and the applet are in a secured area on the tomcat server. They are actually in the same
directory so that codebase and documentbase are the same.

I understand from the Java Plug-in documentation (How Cookie Support Works in Java Plug-in)
that the plugin is supposed to check the browser's cookie cache and determine whether sending a cookie back to the server is required or not. If
yes, it attaches the cookie to the request that fetches the applet.

This works perfectly fine in IE8 on Win 7 (x64) with Java Plug-in 1.6.0_18, but it doesn't work in Firefox 3.6.3 on the same machine using
the same java plug-in.

I am not sure about where the root cause might be, i.e. why Firefox refuses to pick up the browser's session cookie and attach it to the GET request when
fetching the applet jar file. Is it something Windows 7 specific or is it the combination of Win7 on x64 with SDK for i586?

And I tried the <applet> tag and I also tried the newer JNLP approach with the same results.

Here is my jsf page:

and here is the request header captured with tcpmon from Firefox 3.6.3 without JSESSIONID:

and here is the request header from Firefox 3.0.5 from another machine:

The problem is if it doesn't send the JSESSIONID the request gets redirected to the login page and that's the end of that.

Can someone shed some light on that? Is someone experiencing the same problem?

thanks Barbara
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