Feb 9 2010

“+” is a valid character in an email address, idiots!

It’s 2010 and there are still developers out there who don’t know which characters are allowed in an email address. The “+” sign IS a valid character! And I use it! Regularly!
Whenever I have to sign up for something, I usually use my gmail address. Gmail is nice enough to route an email like username+something@gmail.com to the same inbox as username@gmail.com. This allows you to “tag” emails and figure out who sent them. If I were to signup for myspace with tobias+myspace@gmail.com and myspace decides to sell my email address for some ad-campaign, I could easily find that out.
However there are tons of places (facebook pictured above) that do not know that “+” is allowed … argh!

2 Responses to ““+” is a valid character in an email address, idiots!”

  • Jubal Says:

    That *is* a very handy GMail tip. Good on them. I’ve known for a long while that ‘+’ is a valid address “atom”, as RFC 2822 calls it, but the plus sign is still interpreted by most website forms as invalid. So I gave up the battle nearly a decade ago, actually, for my own email address.

    Email delivery must be near 100% reliable, in terms of giving a usable recipient address, for people to continue to use it. If a website form chokes on the ‘+’ and doesn’t tell you, you might never receive the acknowledgement mail, etc. Doesn’t happen that often anymore, as *most* forms now hand off to solid email-delivery components (JavaMail) or backends (sendmail, postfix) that don’t choke… but FYI.

  • Rick Says:

    This has been, probably, my single biggest pet peeve! I also use the + with GMail as well as my own email and often find it is rejected. What a bunch of morons there are out there designing email address validators.

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