A new concept of e-mail




  • This story takes place back in 1995 in Italy, when Internet and e-mail were the new buzzwords and websites started to blossom.

    An advertisement of a major political party (that I’ll simply call The
    Party) was aired on TV for the forthcoming elections. At the end, the
    TV advertisement proudly proclaimed, on large letters superimposed on
    the screen:

    e-mail: www.the-party.it

    The funniest thing is that, a few years later, two of the keypoints of the political programme of The Party became “increase the teaching of English and Internet in schools”.



  • @D0R said:


    This story takes place back in 1995 in Italy, when Internet and e-mail were the new buzzwords and websites started to blossom.

    An advertisement of a major political party (that I’ll simply call The
    Party) was aired on TV for the forthcoming elections. At the end, the
    TV advertisement proudly proclaimed, on large letters superimposed on
    the screen:

    e-mail: www.the-party.it

    The funniest thing is that, a few years later, two of the keypoints of the political programme of The Party became “increase the teaching of English and Internet in schools”.

    Oh, this happens sadly all the time. "Email me at {website}!" I've just about given up on "Log on at {website}" to mean "surf to...". But I'm still irritated by people supposedly in the know saying "http colon backslash backslash". It's not a backslash, darn it. It's a slash. Forward slash, if you must.



  •  I remember one day my dad trying to tell me over the phone about some website. It was painful to hear him say the URL. Very slowly, he would say "HTTP umm.. two dots, line and line - you know which lines I'm talking about? - then w, w, w - three w's..., then a dot...". It's like he assumed I would have a hard time remembering the http://www prefix. He also calls me when he has computer trouble... it's far easier and faster just to drive to his place 15 minutes away (15 there, 15 back, 30 min visit = 1 hour out of my day) and fix his computer myself than to try to give instructions over the phone.



  • @Huf Lungdung said:

    he would say "HTTP umm.. two dots, line and line - you know which lines I'm talking about? - then w, w, w - three w's..., then a dot...".

    My mother, not quite up to your fathers' level, once asked me to explain the difference between the URL, google and search boxes on the browser. I think she followed me for a few miliseconds. Finally, she asked me to spell out the acronyms:

    Type of communication to use: [b]H[/b]yper-[b]T[/b]ext-[b]T[/b]ransfer-[b]P[/b]rotocol

    Separator: ":"

    Start an address prefix ([b]U[/b]niform-[b]R[/b]esource-[b]L[/b]ocator): [b]W[/b]orld[b]W[/b]ide[b]W[/b]eb

    Separate the prefix: "."

    The site name: SiteName

    Separate the type of domain: "."

    Domain type: [b]COM[/b]pany

    Do we really expect those unfamiliar with technology to make sense of any of this?



  • @realmerlyn said:

    Oh, this happens sadly all the time. "Email me at {website}!" I've just about given up on "Log on at {website}" to mean "surf to...". But I'm still irritated by people supposedly in the know saying "http colon backslash backslash". It's not a backslash, darn it. It's a slash. Forward slash, if you must.
    I just use whack and thwack for forward and back slashes.  The users around here seem to find it less confusing to refer to the slashes in that way.  odd I know.



  • @galgorah said:

    I just use whack and thwack for forward and back slashes.  The users around here seem to find it less confusing to refer to the slashes in that way.  odd I know.
    It's not that weird.  I'm pretty sure those names for symbols (whack for /, bang for !, etc.) go back decades.

     

    http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/archives/001133.html

    http://www.cise.ufl.edu/~ddd/poem.htm



  • To be honest, I think it was a pretty stupid idea to reveal the raw protocol information to the end user anyway.  I suppose it's better than raw IP addresses (especially with IPv6 around the corner), but still, couldn't we have built something more sane?

    Like... I dunno... coming up with some kind of location/companyname pair?  Or at least having fewer special characters: email addresses are okay, with "user at example dot com". Couldn't we combine the http and www into something more practical, and have "web dash example dot com"?  I know these musings aren't exactly RFC material, but honestly, if I have to listen to one more verbal pronounciation of http://www., I swear I'm going to break something ><



  • @Albatross said:

    To be honest, I think it was a pretty stupid idea to reveal the raw protocol information to the end user anyway.  I suppose it's better than raw IP addresses (especially with IPv6 around the corner), but still, couldn't we have built something more sane?

    Like... I dunno... coming up with some kind of location/companyname pair?  Or at least having fewer special characters: email addresses are okay, with "user at example dot com". Couldn't we combine the http and www into something more practical, and have "web dash example dot com"?  I know these musings aren't exactly RFC material, but honestly, if I have to listen to one more verbal pronounciation of http://www., I swear I'm going to break something ><

    Exactly.  URLs never should have been visible to end-users, but it looks like we are stuck with it now.  Things are getting better with "pretty" URLs, but only slightly.  I also fucking hate when some company is too lazy to set up a vhost for their domain name so going to http://blah.com gives you a connection error but http://www.blah.com works.  I don't have the time or patience to type those 4 extra characters. 



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    Exactly.  URLs never should have been visible to end-users, but it looks like we are stuck with it now.  Things are getting better with "pretty" URLs, but only slightly.  I also fucking hate when some company is too lazy to set up a vhost for their domain name so going to http://blah.com gives you a connection error but http://www.blah.com works.  I don't have the time or patience to type those 4 extra characters. 

     

    Actually most peope, including me, are even more impatient, they just google the website even if they know the url, e.g. google facebook instead of entering facebook.com



  • @Albatross said:

    To be honest, I think it was a pretty stupid idea to reveal the raw protocol information to the end user anyway.  I suppose it's better than raw IP addresses (especially with IPv6 around the corner), but still, couldn't we have built something more sane?

    Like... I dunno... coming up with some kind of location/companyname pair?  Or at least having fewer special characters: email addresses are okay, with "user at example dot com". Couldn't we combine the http and www into something more practical, and have "web dash example dot com"?  I know these musings aren't exactly RFC material, but honestly, if I have to listen to one more verbal pronounciation of http://www., I swear I'm going to break something ><

    Well, "www" is not a requirement, more of a convention, after all. And I have the feeling that, as more and more people realized this in the recent years, more and more sites just left it off for good, up to the point, where you almost have to leave it off, if you want to show just how web-2.0-ish you are. 

    Examples: del.icio.us, facebook.com, maps.google.com, ...

    I think the "www" prefix is more or less dieing already.

    As for "cryptic" adressing schemes in general, I don't agree. Phone numbers are a lot less intuitive than URLs (or, granted, at least the host part) and somehow people manage to use them for almost two centuries.

    Also, don't forget the one ISP that did try to "abstract away" URLs completely for their customers: AOL. And I think we all know how the reputation of their users ended up...



  • (Sorry for the double post, edit timeout)

    Another thing, I find interesting is, how the URL syntax - or the syntax of programming languages in general - are becoming part of pop culture already.

    At least here in germany, if you want to establish that your organisation is "cool" and "hip", you are more or less obligated to replace.all.your.spaces.with.periods and to ornate your headings with as many {s, }s, #s and //s as possible.

    What I found really noteable is that a few friends without noteable computing background are starting to use "//" in their mails as a kind of "aside" marker.

    Do you see anything like this in the US too?



  • @D0R said:


    The funniest thing is that, a few years later, two of the keypoints
    of the political programme of The Party became “increase the teaching
    of English and Internet in schools”.

     

     The three "I": English ("Inglese" in Italian"), Innovation and Internet. I agree that "Forza Italia" party should remain unnamed... WHOOPS!



  • I'm more bothered by people that think "the internet" is the same as "www" and "a browser"... Email, instant messaging, VoIP, that's not "the internet" apparently.



  • @Albatross said:

    To be honest, I think it was a pretty stupid idea to reveal the raw protocol information to the end user anyway. I suppose it's better than raw IP addresses (especially with IPv6 around the corner), but still, couldn't we have built something more sane?

    Remember that at the time URLs were developed, you typically connected to remote computers using command-line utilities with names like ftp and gopher. Typing "ftp://user:password@host" is not that different from typing "ftp user@host," followed by the password, on the command line. When web browsers came along, it was far from clear that they would replace gopher or archie clients, nor was it at all clear that dad and grandma would be using them some day. They had AOL, after all.



  • @PSWorx said:

    Examples: del.icio.us, facebook.com, maps.google.com, ...

     

    uhhh, facebook.com, as in www.facebook.com?  Also, maps.google.com is basically treated as an extension of google's main page, www.google.com.  This has been around for a long time (yahoo has tons of subdomains).



  • @realmerlyn said:

    Oh, this happens sadly all the time. "Email me at {website}!" I've just about given up on "Log on at {website}" to mean "surf to...". But I'm still irritated by people supposedly in the know saying "http colon backslash backslash". It's not a backslash, darn it. It's a slash. Forward slash, if you must.

    That reminds me of a few ads I've seen in local papers and on local TV, where they gave their address in the form "www.username@domain.com". Just...no...



  • @Albatross said:

    To be honest, I think it was a pretty stupid idea to reveal the raw protocol information to the end user anyway. I suppose it's better than raw IP addresses (especially with IPv6 around the corner), but still, couldn't we have built something more sane? Like... I dunno... coming up with some kind of location/companyname pair? Or at least having fewer special characters: email addresses are okay, with "user at example dot com". Couldn't we combine the http and www into something more practical, and have "web dash example dot com"? I know these musings aren't exactly RFC material, but honestly, if I have to listen to one more verbal pronounciation of http://www., I swear I'm going to break something ><

    Well, URL's are a byproduct of earlier times. It's easy to forget during the early 1990s, HTTP was used side by side with FTP, Gopher, and USENET groups, with links to telnet servers still relatively common. It was easy to say something was on example.com, but there had to be a clear way to tell what protocol it was on, especially in the early days when HTTP first appeared. I remember when Netscape 2 or 3 first came out, I used it for both as both a gopher client, and a regular web broswer for quite awhile until the former died out. These days, gopher is essentially dead (there are about 100 servers left; mozilla/gecko already have plans to remove gopher support for Firefox 4/Gecko 2), FTP is (slowly) dying out; even the mozilla team have seriously considered removing support for it.

     If web broswers only used HTTP (and HTTPS) as their only protocol, then yes, I agree, URLs would have been a fairly stupid idea at the time, but its a left over from earlier times. Beside the point, both FIrefox and IE will automatically append the http:// if its left out, so its a non-issue at this point.



  • I remember there was some company that was selling email addresses and web addresses that were both phonenumber@theirdomain.com.au.I can't remember the actual domain and I have since Googled and couldn't find it so I assume it is dead. So you could use 04xxxxxxxx@theirdomain.com.au as the email address and http://04xxxxxxxx@theirdomain.com.au would bring up "your" webpage.

    Of course this was before the spammers figured out http://www.bank.com@baddomain.com looks like http://www.bank.com/



  •  I'm suprised that would work, I've never heard of @ as a way to pass a subdomain. I would think it work try a resolve a litterial domain name of phoneumber@company.com instead of querying company.com's DNS server for the IP address of the subdomain.



  • @Michael Casadevall said:

    I'm suprised that would work, I've never heard of @ as a way to pass a
    subdomain.

    Uh, that is because the part before @ is the username (sometimes, with password), not a subdomain.



  • d'oh. That's what I get for posting in the wee hours in the morning. 



  • @Spectre said:

    @Michael Casadevall said:
    I'm suprised that would work, I've never heard of @ as a way to pass a
    subdomain.

    Uh, that is because the part before @ is the username (sometimes, with password), not a subdomain.

     

    Further adding to the confusion of email address vs web address. I think Opera 5+ warns when going to a URL with a username attached, just because of the phishing attack.

    BTW WRT the tag for my post last night,  teach me to post just before going to bed and not checking it! This site has told me enough times that you can't trust anything computer-related to work as expected...

    Oh well, back to lunch 



  • @Michael Casadevall said:

    Beside the point, both FIrefox and IE will automatically append the http:// if its left out, so its a non-issue at this point.
     

    Not only that but firefox has "surf by name" or whatever its called ... 

    for example i use "beolingus" in the addressbar to get to the http://dict.tu-chemnitz.de/

     



  • The rules go something like this

     

    In both IE and FIrefox:

     

    If you just enter a name like google, it will automatically try and append com, and failing to resolve, then add www using http by default. It may also try other suffixs like edu, and org.

     

    FIrefox goes one step futher and aliases some site names like that, it also allows you to set custom names via the bookmark feature. I don't think IE has any equivelent behavior. 



  • @Michael Casadevall said:

    FIrefox goes one step futher and aliases some site names like that, it also allows you to set custom names via the bookmark feature. I don't think IE has any equivelent behavior.

    It does actually. Top-level entries in IE's favorites folder can be entered into the address bar by displayed name.



  • Here are the two things I hate most:

    1) People spelling URLs and saying things like "w..w..w..dot..this..minus..is..minus..cool..com" for www.this-is-cool.com. Ok, the German word "Bindestrich" for "-" is quite long, but "minus" is just wrong!

    2) It's good when companies provide an email-address in case you need information quickly. Why not name it "info(at)mycompany.com"? Why does it have to be "mycompany(at)mycompany.com"? Well, you can quickly write "mycompany(at)mycompany.com" - but imagine having to type "miller-and-sons-hand-made-furniture(at)miller-and-sons-hand-made-furniture.com". Yes, I've read things like that!



  • @tdittmar said:

    "miller-and-sons-hand-made-furniture(at)miller-and-sons-hand-made-furniture.com"

    Or [url=http://forums.thedailywtf.com/forums/t/7576.aspx]modestapparelchristianclothinglydiaofpurpledressescustomsewing@modestapparelchristianclothinglydiaofpurpledressescustomsewing.com[/url]. (Does not exist, AFAIK.)



  • @tdittmar said:

    miller-and-sons-hand-made-furniture(at)miller-and-sons-hand-made-furniture.com

    I just hate when organizations/companies decide to use their full name as a domain name, especially when said name is insanely long. Some time ago, a state government department decided to fire up a new website. They had a lot of WTF's, but these two were the worst:

    - Being a government institution, they had the rights to get a .gob.mx domain. They didn't, instead going for .org.mx

    - Instead of choosing teeg.org.mx, they went for the insane tribunalestatalelectoralgto.org.mx ... which made the domain look like one of those made-up German mashup words.

    Fortunately someone with sanity went to work with them, and they've since gone for a shorter domain name. But they still don't use the .gob.mx ... oh well...



  • @DrJokepu said:

    @morbiuswilters said:

    Exactly.  URLs never should have been visible to end-users, but it looks like we are stuck with it now.  Things are getting better with "pretty" URLs, but only slightly.  I also fucking hate when some company is too lazy to set up a vhost for their domain name so going to http://blah.com gives you a connection error but http://www.blah.com works.  I don't have the time or patience to type those 4 extra characters. 

     

    Actually most peope, including me, are even more impatient, they just google the website even if they know the url, e.g. google facebook instead of entering facebook.com

     

    Thus the beauty of ctrl+enter to append the .com (and prepend http://www.). I use that all the time. much easier than googling a domain name.



  •  @DeLos said:

    Thus the beauty of ctrl+enter to append the .com (and prepend http://www.). I use that all the time. much easier than googling a domain name.

    Does it append .net for me? or .co.uk?



  • @DrJokepu said:

    Does it append .net for me? or .co.uk?
     

    PROTIP: You could just try it.



  • @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    @DrJokepu said:

    Does it append .net for me? or .co.uk?
     

    PROTIP: You could just try it.

    That was a rhetoric question. Obviously it does not.



  • @DrJokepu said:

    @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    @DrJokepu said:

    Does it append .net for me? or .co.uk?
     

    PROTIP: You could just try it.

    That was a rhetoric question. Obviously it does not.




    not sure if localization reaches this far (is there a regional version for UK of windows/ie?) but I believe there is a .net shortcut. there is a .org as well.

    Valid point on the .co.uk but many times there is an overlap on .com and .co.uk. 



  • @First google result searching for ctrl+enter said:

    • Ctrl + Enter - Auto-complete *.com address
    • Shift + Enter - Auto-complete *.net address
    • Ctrl + Shift + Enter - Auto-complete *.org address

    If you add Alt to any of those key combinations, it will auto-complete and open the new address in a new tab as well. Alt+Ctrl+Enter will auto-complete a *.com address in a new tab, for instance.



  • @tdittmar said:

    1) People spelling URLs and saying things like "w..w..w..dot..this..minus..is..minus..cool..com" for www.this-is-cool.com. Ok, the German word "Bindestrich" for "-" is quite long, but "minus" is just wrong!

    Considering that "-" is used to indicate subtraction in pretty much every programming language on the planet, I fail to see how calling it "minus" is wrong.



  • My mom just dont seem to get the difference between URL and search.. I use firefox, so I have the quicksearch panel, which results to mom googling "www.nameofsite.com", no matter hot many times I tell her. Furthermore, she seems to use URL bar as the quicksearch bar, typing keywords into it all the time..



  • @Aladar said:

    Furthermore, she seems to use URL bar as the quicksearch bar, typing keywords into it all the time..

    Given that if you do that it will usually go to the I'm feeling lucky result, which can save time, for example, if you type "wikipedia bill gates", you will get the Wiki page for Bill Gates.



  • Yep, I know.. she doesn't though - and then she is wondering why she got something else then she wanted. :)



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    Exactly.  URLs never should have been visible to end-users, but it looks like we are stuck with it now.

    I think the whole URL thingy is useful when you do, well, other stuff that isn't HTTP. Like downloading files from anon FTP, which used to be standard for many years.



  •  @Zylon said:

    @tdittmar said:

    1) People spelling URLs and saying things like "w..w..w..dot..this..minus..is..minus..cool..com" for www.this-is-cool.com. Ok, the German word "Bindestrich" for "-" is quite long, but "minus" is just wrong!

    Considering that "-" is used to indicate subtraction in pretty much every programming language on the planet, I fail to see how calling it "minus" is wrong.

    Because

    a) you don't only hear this from programmers but also on radio, TV, etc. - where people don't give a sh** about programming languages,

    b) there is no mathematical context in that case, so you cannot subtract "is" from "this" (it's just has stupid as these "-20% off" signs you get to see more and more often) and

    c) I'm sure the difference between "minus" and "dash" exists for a reason. One is sign for a mathematical operation, the other one is a sort of punctuation.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    Exactly.  URLs never should have been visible to end-users, but it looks like we are stuck with it now.  Things are getting better with "pretty" URLs, but only slightly.  I also fucking hate when some company is too lazy to set up a vhost for their domain name so going to http://blah.com gives you a connection error but http://www.blah.com works.  I don't have the time or patience to type those 4 extra characters. 

     Worse still is IE6. Obviously.

     In this case, IE6 is causing problems because there are websites I use from home without the www, but IE still helpfully searches for me instead of actually going to the website. Anything with .nhs.uk or .sch.uk, it won't find.



  • @ambrosen said:

    Worse still is IE6. Obviously.
     

    Worse still is people who resurrect almost two week old posts to simply post a MS-derogatory piece of nonsense.

    Please pay attention to the dates of the post before you reply to them. It's considered extremely bad manners to resurrect dead posts. 



  • @KenW said:

    @ambrosen said:

    Worse still is IE6. Obviously.
     

    Worse still is people who resurrect almost two week old posts to simply post a MS-derogatory piece of nonsense.

    Please pay attention to the dates of the post before you reply to them. It's considered extremely bad manners to resurrect dead posts. 

    I definitely agree with you there. When an old thread comes back to life, no one can remember exactly what it is that was being discussed. Then, everyone needs to waste time re-reading the whole thread. It's bad manners to force people to do that.



  •  lol lock


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