Thursday, June 19, 2008

A Note About Email Validation

Lurpak are running a compo to win a breadmaker. Whoop de do. Anyway, being the person who opened the new butter at work, I thought I'd enter the code on the site for a giggle.

Now, I like to be able to sort my email - I like to treat newsletters, lists and personal mail differently. It's a necessity when you get around a hundred emails a day. A really smart way of doing this is with labels in gmail - by using your.name+label@blah.com you can 'presort' mail in to the relevant label.

The format of that email address is absolutely in line with the RFC standards for email - see http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc3696, for instance.

It's surprising how very few sites accept the + sign as a valid character, however. I'd estimate 1 in 20 on a good day, with the wind behind me.

I wouldn't mind so much, but it's useful to work out if company X has sold on your email address. If, when signing up for a service, you format your email address as your.name+servicename@blah.com. All mail sent to that address ends up in your main inbox, but premarked and filed as from sevicename Then, should spam start appearing addressed to that specific address, you can be fairly sure that servicename is the culprit.

Anway, I wish more people were aware of this tip, and that more developers implemented validation properly. That's all.

4 comments:

horace goes skiing said...

I agree it's useful trick and I use it myself but 99.999999% of people don't and fully validating email adresses to RFC is really complex. In the O'Reilly "Mastering Regular Expressions" book it's 11-pages long!

kuc1n993m0k said...

erm..hello dude..i might be off topic here..i just wanna ask..how you add the playballoonacy widget?it seems when i try to add their javascript to my blogspot,it didnt appear anything.it didnt work! =(


you may visit it here : http://kopikawkaw.blogspot.com

thank you!
:)

kim said...

Hey there - I think I added it directly from the site by signing in at their end?

It may be that the JS is conflicting with something else on your site?

If it's any help, from looking at your JS include, your UID is 8d0e9ef0b74d9f2c582539302349f89d

You could try doing a 'View Source' on my blog, and copying the code block under 'Corporate Shilling' that starts

< object width="380" style="width:100%; max-width:800px;" height="350" ....

and finishes /object >

Then change my UID code for yours
(look for the two places where it says widget_loader.swf?uuid= and change the long string of letters and numbers afterwards for yours.

That might work, but it leaves off the gigya tracking code; I can't tell if that's just for tracking the widget, or if it's a vital part of the game itself.

eyetie said...

I have the same problem/fear and I achieved the same result by buying a domain (about US$7 p.a. from GoDaddy) with free email-forwarding and then using various aliases along the lines of competition@domain.com, freecrap@domain.com, jobapplications@domain.com etc... all of which are automatically forwarded to my Gmail which can then filter away quite happily. Not as cheap as nowt but gets around the "+" and you get a domain name to throw a website at.