--

So this sucks...

http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20060120-6022.html

Especially since i have dots in my gmail address...
Permalink Phil 
January 23rd, 2006
It sucks even more because if its true, someone already owns my non-dotted version and has been getting my mail?
Permalink Phil 
January 23rd, 2006
Sounds like you get the dotted and non-dotted and the software prevents anyone from registering an address that differs only by a dot. So, there is no-non dot guy out there reading your mail.

Still odd.
Permalink  
January 23rd, 2006
You didn't read it properly. No one can register the "non-dotted" version.

Also, this feature is a godsend because without it I would have to register a whole seperate address just to use fucking Amazon.com.
Permalink Mark Warner 
January 23rd, 2006
ah well thats good then
Permalink Phil 
January 23rd, 2006
Amazon sends mail to the the non-dotted addresss? No......
Permalink  
January 23rd, 2006
It doesn't matter whether Amazon sends to an address without embedded dots or with. All that;s happening is that Google has a display text for the mailbox which may include dots and an internal mailbox name which will always be without dots. When reconciling email all embedded dots are stripped out.

It's just an intelligent implementation.

Jeez.
Permalink Simon Lucy 
January 23rd, 2006
Simon

Why does the feature help us use amazon?
Permalink  
January 23rd, 2006
The original article isn't entirely true, and it turns out to have been a result of some idiot sending it to the wrong email address (or so I hear -- can't remember where I read it, but I came across it this morning)...
Permalink Mat Hall 
January 23rd, 2006
It would help using Amazon if it didn't support embedded dots in the mailbox name. If Amazon soesn't understand Simon.Lucy@gmail.com but does understand slimonlucy@gmail.com then Google (given that the implication of that article is true), takes care of the problem.
Permalink Simon Lucy 
January 23rd, 2006
Yeah its actually a benefit, not a problem, I did read it wrong. It's still somewhat odd though, but at least its good odd, not bad odd.
Permalink Phil 
January 23rd, 2006
Well Simon. That's nice. So if Amazon had some imaginary can't handle dots bug, which it doesn't, then this feature of google would be the perfect match!

Hey Simon, if all the keyboards in the world lost the . key then this feature would be intelligent wouldn't it?

Jeez.
Permalink  
January 23rd, 2006
There seems to be a lack of reading comprehension going on.

I didn't say Amazon did have a problem, you'll notice the use of the word 'if', this is a conditional preposition (in the linguistic if not grammarian sense).
Permalink Simon Lucy 
January 23rd, 2006
Simon

I know that.

Point is Amazon has no such feature, the idea of it having such a feature is a joke, and you calling this an intelligent implementation is funny, and using your usually
condecending attitude -- Jeez -- is rude.

What makes this an intelligent implementation?
Permalink  
January 23rd, 2006
It's intelligent because it removes several problems at once.

1. The use of similar names by different individuals is prevented, or at least where the sole difference is a . (they may also remove all other punctuation in the same way).

2. That its silent, the owner of the mailbox doesn't care and doesn't know that someone else used a different formulation of the same name.

3. Any broken implementation of sending mail from web sites (which is a frequently broken thing) is mitigated.

I would guess the primary reason if it exists is number 1.
Permalink Simon Lucy 
January 23rd, 2006
What website has broken sending mail with . in it in such a way that the mail is sent without a . ? (this is a frequently broken thing)
Permalink  
January 23rd, 2006
I honestly cannot believe anyone could call this a "feature"

Sending email to an address other than you typed is a bug, period. Dots are perfectly legal in the addressee part of an email address (RFC 2822: "A field body may be composed of any US-ASCII characters, except for CR and LF.")

Why doesn't gmail strip out underscores, plus signs, percent signs, or other frippery? Why just dots?

I'm trying to imagine the reaction if Exchange had this "feature"...

Philo [MSFT]
Permalink Philo 
January 23rd, 2006
DEAR SIMON,

YOU ARE AN IDIOT.

OK now that's out of the way, the reason that you need this feature for Amazon.com is that Amazon refuses to recognize email addresses with a dot before the @ as valid addresses, but only in PARTS of the interface. You can REGISTER an account just fine with it, create a wishlist, and so on, but the minute you try to make a purchase and it asks you to re-authenticate, it refuses to accept your dotted address.

If gmail didn't allow me to use dot and no dot interchangably, then I would have to register a whole new email account just to use Amazon.

I posted about this only about eleven times previously.
Permalink Mark Warner 
January 23rd, 2006
Ah, I see you caught on in a later post. Still, your first post said it didn't matter, and for that, you're still a choad. :)
Permalink Mark Warner 
January 23rd, 2006
Now I see that the blank poster is a greater idiot than Simon, and Philo is mildly an idiot. :)

Amazon DOES in fact, have a 'dot bug', but it only manifests on SOME authentication screens and not others. It will quite completely prevent you from making a purchase with a dotted email address on the US site.
Permalink Mark Warner 
January 23rd, 2006
Now you're clinging by your fingernails.

The parsing of email addresses has over time broken many a website, not as many as phone number formats but frequently enough. There was a popular script in the past (I believe) that had a broken regex for some circumstances.

Breakages in phone number formats irk me more often its true and I can't recall a site recently that balked at an embedded dot. However, if the feature does exist and I don't know that it does then the likely reason is to reduce misunderstandings over the same name. After all when a new account is created Google suggests the name with an embedded dot.
Permalink Simon Lucy 
January 23rd, 2006
Why the fuck doesn't Amazon just fix their shit, yo?

(MMM... whole first season of The Wire under my belt this weekend. Yummy)
Permalink I am Jack's major mundane Monday 
January 23rd, 2006
Philo - it does (sort of) strip out plus signs...and other stuff. Say you've an address firstname.surname@gmail.com and you have an email sent to firstname.surname+somethingelse@gmail.com you still get it.

Used together with filters, it can come in very handy.
Permalink a cynic writes... 
January 23rd, 2006
> Sending email to an address other than you typed is a bug, period.

You mean "Sending email to an address other than you typed is a bug, dot."

Now that's out of the way, has RFC2822 changed (or removed) the special "bang" spec and similar things? I'm not really up on internet message formats these days (it has been a while since I was so nerdy).
Permalink  
January 23rd, 2006
Everything after the + is stripped?

That sounds handy for mailing lists and what not.
Permalink  
January 23rd, 2006
That's what I use it for;-)
Permalink a cynic writes... 
January 23rd, 2006
Bang paths are still supported -- they're under a different RFC (1983) which I don't think has been obsoleted yet; if I interpret 2822 correctly, a ! in the local part is fine (it's a "SHOULD NOT" not a "MUST NOT"), but because it may be interpreted as a routing specifier by the recieving mail server it's best avoided; in general terms the local-part is pretty much down to local custom, and only a few characters are forbidden. Ampersands, asterisks and forward slashes are acceptable (if not recommended as they may be interpreted as something else locally), and if you quote them you can even use the at symbol, space, greater than, square brackets, and all sorts, but again this is not recommended mostly to avoid confusion. About the only things that are explicitly forbidden are $00 to $1F and $7F. All this combines to making actually validating an email address an EXTREMELY complicated proposition, so I tend to restrict myself to "so long as there's some stuff, an at, and some more stuff with a dot in there somewhere" as validation. I'd rather get a few duff ones than reject valid ones...

I should get out more. :)
Permalink Mat Hall 
January 23rd, 2006
"Sending email to an address other than you typed is a bug, period."

Bullshit. I see this the same way as typing joelonsoftware.com or www.joelonsoftware.com or http://www.joelonsoftware.com in your browser and going to the same site. If there is a joe.blow@... then there isn't a differnet mailbox joeblow@... Google has decided that those ARE the same mailbox and therefor is routing things correctly. There is no bug.
Permalink Steamrolla 
January 23rd, 2006
Ignoring the dot seems like the right thing both for emailing and registering.

Its easier to read:
  joe.smith@gmail.com
however if giving it verbally to someone over the phone/in a bar, etc. You can simply say "joe smith at gmail.com".

Seems like an intuitive and unobtrusive feature that probably makes many situations easier to deal with.
Mike
Permalink MikeG 
January 23rd, 2006
It's not entirely the same but at work I try to include all the obvious spelling mistakes as email aliases. It makes life a lot easier.
Permalink a cynic writes... 
January 23rd, 2006
Amazon is not broken. I have a non-gmail dot and buy stuff all the time. Warner is a moron as is Simon.
Permalink  
January 23rd, 2006
Amazon, I can assure you, is broken and doesn't parse dotted email addresses in all cases.
Permalink Mark Warner 
January 23rd, 2006
getting back to Google mail:

I just sent myself an email using a dot (email registration was without dot) and it arrived to non-dotted email just fine.

I have forwarding set up on that account. It did NOT forward the dotted email, however.

Perhaps I am the only one who finds that interesting.
Permalink sharkfish 
January 23rd, 2006
Maybe I'm just paranoid, but man I honestly believe that if Exchange ignored the dot this whole thread would be about buggy Microsoft software.

I also think that Google's assumptions are dangerous - if I were a software architect and someone suggested that I'd be very, very edgy about it. I just feel like unique address <-> unique mailbox is a pretty safe way to go.

"I see this the same way as typing joelonsoftware.com or www.joelonsoftware.com or http://www.joelonsoftware.com in your browser and going to the same site."

Uh, there's a reason things (mostly) work that way. For one thing, DNS has to be configured to resolve the root domain ~ www. Being able to put or leave http:// is a function of the browser (which assumes http://, since it's a web browser).

Google is creating a new specification by saying dots in the local address are whitespace, and they're in violation of the RFC (though for internal matters routed internally I'm not sure that's a big deal)

Philo
Permalink Philo 
January 23rd, 2006
But they're not in violation of the RFC. All the RFC says is that the dot is an allowable character (so long as there aren't two in a row or one at the beginning of the local-part), but if says nothing about how mail systems must treat the dot on incoming messages. If your server ignores all occurances of the letter P (so poo@example.com is equivalent to poop@example.com) then that's fine, so long as it doesn't reject legal addresses and doesn't allow illegal ones (such as ^D..@!..^H[DEL]@example.com).
Permalink Mat Hall 
January 23rd, 2006
Philo - you're probably right that Exchange would get stick. However Hotmail might not, which would be a better analogy.

If you think about it, it's a system adminsitration issue rather than a software issue. To give you an example, using Exchange (which we do) I might set up a user called bill (which I do) with both william and bill as aliases. The same applies in this case.
Permalink a cynic writes... 
January 24th, 2006

This topic was orginally posted to the off-topic forum of the
Joel on Software discussion board.

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