Back in June of 2010, I was wondering how to save the order/arrangement of jquery-ui portlets and their open/closed state to a cookie. After much searching and finding nothing, I came up with my own solution and posted it at the end of a long thread on the jquery-ui mailing list. (Since then, I found that it's been linked to from a stackoverflow answer!)
You can see a live demo of my solution here.
If you're a python web programmer, you should know that my
tw2.jqplugins.portlets package uses this solution by default,
encapsulating all the work for you. Here are links to everything you need to
get started using that project: