Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
The Internet

Example.com Has Changed 109

Posted by timothy
from the foo-baz-is-now-frum-burz dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The familiar example.com domain, reserved for private testing, has been updated. Visiting the domain in a web browser no longer displays any content; instead, visitors are redirected to an explanatory page on IANA's website at iana.org/domains/example/. Other example domains such as example.net are also affected. Is this a bad change? Will the redirect cause problems for anybody?"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Example.com Has Changed

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 30, 2011 @01:28PM (#35049738)

    The domains are designed to be used as examples in free text, not to be visited. Not to be pinged, scraped, tracerouted or anything else that involved actually accessing them via the Internet.

    So how does "Will the redirect cause problems for anybody?" make any sense?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I suppose the big difference would be for ISPs and anyone else running DNS servers that redirect failed lookups to their own pages, this would no longer be useful as a test to see if your dns server will actually return NXDOMAIN for anything.

      • by Dynedain (141758) <[moc.nilcmynohtna] [ta] [2todhsals]> on Sunday January 30, 2011 @02:03PM (#35049910) Homepage

        Example.com at least isn't a change in that scenario because it used to resolve to a specific server. Now that it resolves with a redirect, I don't see much difference at the DNS layer.

      • Just use a TLD of invalid for that, like example.invalid.

      • by russotto (537200)

        I suppose the big difference would be for ISPs and anyone else running DNS servers that redirect failed lookups to their own pages, this would no longer be useful as a test to see if your dns server will actually return NXDOMAIN for anything.

        The example.com domain hasn't returned NXDOMAIN for a long time (if ever). It had a valid IP address with a webserver hosting a static page. Now instead of that static page it has a redirect. If you want an NXDOMAIN, try "example.invalid" (or anything else dot invali

      • by ggeens (53767)

        I suppose the big difference would be for ISPs and anyone else running DNS servers that redirect failed lookups to their own pages, this would no longer be useful as a test to see if your dns server will actually return NXDOMAIN for anything.

        You can use a.com (or any other single letter) for that.

        • by mmontour (2208)

          You can use a.com (or any other single letter) for that.

          x.com disagrees. Use the ".invalid" TLD.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      So how does "Will the redirect cause problems for anybody?" make any sense?

      Posted by timothy on Sun Jan 30, '11 01:25 PM

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 30, 2011 @02:49PM (#35050134)

      It doesn't make sense, but it's probably a requirement that most inane non-issue articles be posted with a leading question that stirs up discussion where little is needed and controversy where none exists.

    • by Tenareth (17013)

      The entire push to use example.com (which I always thought was pretty dumb) was because foo.com or bar.com might actually exist and do something, therefore if your point is valid, the entire point of example.com is invalid.

      • by Cramer (69040)

        bar.com has existed for a very long time. The owner used to read every email coming in to foo@bar.com, but gave it up long ago -- "The internet has no sense of humor."

    • The domains are designed to be used as examples in free text, not to be visited. Not to be pinged, scraped, tracerouted or anything else that involved actually accessing them via the Internet.

      So how does "Will the redirect cause problems for anybody?" make any sense?

      There's never been any prohibition against pinging, scraping, or tracerouting to it or otherwise trying to access. Example.com has long resolved to a page explaining its purpose. I fail to see the story here.

    • by Phydaux (1135819)

      It could break a program if a moron has programmed their application to check for internet connectivity by looking for a 200 OK response from example.com.

      There are plenty of idiots who do stuff like this, whether it's using a "reserved for future use" byte in a file header for their own personal program or some unspecified quirk in an API that later gets changed/fixed.

      It really wouldn't surprise me if a few programs broke, because there are just too many idiots for someone not to have done something stupid.

  • by JonySuede (1908576) on Sunday January 30, 2011 @01:29PM (#35049748) Journal

    If your application is so broken that it depends on the behavior of exemple.com to be correct, you have a bigger problems than this.

    • by statusbar (314703)

      The problem is that now example.com is going to be slashdotted, and all examples in history will be broken! Hmm except the examples of slashdotting, I guess. We will have to come up with other examples.

    • The test suite of Darcs [darcs.net] needs a domain that doesn't exist. It used to use example.com for that purpose, which now fails:

      Sat Jan 29 16:18:53 CET 2011 Ganesh Sittampalam
      * switch test to use a URL we can make sure will fail
      Seems like the behaviour of http://example.com/ [example.com] changed to start serving
      pages at all URLs...

      • by Bogtha (906264) on Sunday January 30, 2011 @02:45PM (#35050108)

        Then that was a bug in Darcs. example.com was never a guarantee that any particular URL served from that domain would fail. Also note that they said that the URL would fail. That is not the same as the domain not existing. example.com has existed for years and years. Presumably they were appending a random string to http://example.com/ and hoping to get a 404. If the test suite was expecting example.com to not exist, then it never would have worked in the first place.

        • Ditto everything you said. That's made especially ridiculous by the fact that the project owns their own domain, darcs.net, and could have just as easily used http://darcs.net/doesnotexist [darcs.net] and configured their server to make sure it always returned a 404. Basically, they were using an undocumented third-party web service that returned 404s in response to a request and counting on the perpetual existence of that service. That's just goofy.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Thats a very broken thing to do...

        If you need a dns entry that doesn't exist, pick one that you are authoritative for and make sure it doesn't exist. If you own example.com, use invalid.example.com as your test case and make sure you never create a valid entry for it.

        Anything else could change at the whim of whoever is authoritative for it.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        The test suite of Darcs [darcs.net] needs a domain that doesn't exist. It used to use example.com for that purpose, which now fails:

        Sat Jan 29 16:18:53 CET 2011 Ganesh Sittampalam

        * switch test to use a URL we can make sure will fail

        Seems like the behaviour of http://example.com/ [example.com] changed to start serving

        pages at all URLs...

        ".example" is recommended for use in documentation or as examples.
        ".invalid" is intended for use in online construction of domain names that are sure to be invalid and which it is obvious at a glance are invalid.

        Guess they should read the rfc.

        • by Culture20 (968837)

          ".example" is recommended for use in documentation or as examples.
          ".invalid" is intended for use in online construction of domain names that are sure to be invalid and which it is obvious at a glance are invalid.

          Guess they should read the rfc.

          RFC 2606 Reserved Top Level DNS Names June 1999 ...
          3. Reserved Example Second Level Domain Names


          The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) also currently has the
          following second level domain names reserved which can be used as
          examples.

          example.com
          example.net
          example.org

        • by atisss (1661313)

          Try http://example.invalid.com/ [invalid.com]

    • by Anonymous Coward

      If your application is so broken that it depends on the behavior of exemple.com to be correct, you have a bigger problems than this.

      exemple.com [exemple.com] works as expected.

  • No (Score:5, Informative)

    by OverlordQ (264228) on Sunday January 30, 2011 @01:35PM (#35049782) Journal

    GET / HTTP/1.1
    Host: www.example.com

    HTTP/1.0 302 Found
    Location: http://www.iana.org/domains/example/ [iana.org]
    Server: BigIP
    Connection: Keep-Alive
    Content-Length: 0

    If that breaks your program, you're doing it wrong.

    • Re:No (Score:5, Informative)

      by TheRaven64 (641858) on Sunday January 30, 2011 @01:47PM (#35049836) Journal

      It won't break your program, but it might break your example. I've seen HTTP tutorials that show using telnet to connect to example.com, and getting a response. Now the response is different, so anyone who tries the example will see a redirect instead of a content reply.

      It's not a serious problem, but it may cause a small amount of confusion for a tiny group of people.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        They're doing it wrong.

        example.com is reserved as a placeholder for a domain name. It could just as well not resolve at all (and that is an actual possibility if traffic to that domain ever becomes a problem). The point of it is to have a domain name that can safely be used in documentation and sample configurations without the risk of someone registering the name and putting up a porn site or whatever (and also to avoid the possibility that a chosen name is an actual in-use domain name and example configur

      • by mysidia (191772)

        It won't break your program, but it might break your example. I've seen HTTP tutorials that show using telnet to connect to example.com, and getting a response.

        Then they have not understood RFC 2606.

        These names are reserved for use as example domains in documentation.

        If there is any page at those addresses, then it is a coincidence. There is no assurance that IANA will provide these domains as resolvable in any form. The domains are reserved, that doesn't indicate the name will (or will not) resolve.

        • by dgatwood (11270)

          The problem comes when that documentation comes in the form of a web page. I'm expecting to have serious problems because of this change.

          In particular, anyone maintaining HTML versions of OS manual pages can no longer usefully run automated link checkers on them because every man page that mentions "http://www.example.com" anywhere in it is going to contain "broken" links because of the redirect.

          Not cool.

          • by mysidia (191772)

            automated link checkers on them because every man page that mentions "http://www.example.com" anywhere in it is going to contain "broken" links because of the redirect.

            If you have a link to www.example.com then it is by definition a broken link.

            You should never link to example.com.

            It is perfectly fine to mention the domain name in the text of documentation while using it as an example (that's what it is for in the first place); that mention should not be hyperlinked to example.com however.

            Translati

            • by dgatwood (11270)

              The problem is that for any *good* translation of man pages to HTML, you'll need to autodetect links in the text. Same goes for pretty printers that start with any text-based format. In the modern Internet, there is simply no place for URLs that aren't links.

              So what you're saying is that everyone should have to add a special case workaround for one single broken website. Uh uh. Not gonna happen.

              • by mysidia (191772)

                The problem is that for any *good* translation of man pages to HTML, you'll need to autodetect links in the text. Same goes for pretty printers that start with any text-based format. In the modern Internet, there is simply no place for URLs that aren't links.

                If you decide to use an 'autodetection' tool or 'pretty printer', then you have to live with false positives, or fix your pretty printer to not recognize them, by special casing or suitable rules.

                Just.because.you.have.some.words.with.a.few.dots.i

                • by dgatwood (11270)

                  No, but you'll be hard pressed to find a good example that starts with 'http://' (other than the string "http://" by itself) that is not a working URL. In case you've never worked with a proper URL detector, good ones don't normally have detectable false positive rates. At least in OS manual pages, the only false positives I've seen in the past year or so have been due to things like commas or periods at the ends of the URLs. However, a URL detector for HTML generation can query these variant URLs during

                  • by mysidia (191772)

                    I have never once even seen a detection problem that required blacklisting a specific URL.

                    Now you have.

                    • by dgatwood (11270)

                      It's not a detection problem. The URL is being detected correctly, and it's a properly formed URL, so no, I haven't seen anything that legitimately needs to be blacklisted.

                      When a man page contains a URL, that URL is expected to be a valid URL, not a redirect. Thus, every man page that contains http://www.example.com/ [example.com] should be considered buggy, and those pages should be changed to use a different, valid URL. From my perspective, it's as simple as that.

                      And that was my whole point. This change completely

                    • by mysidia (191772)

                      When a man page contains a URL, that URL is expected to be a valid URL, not a redirect.

                      First of all, this is wrong.

                      When a man page contains an EXAMPLE URL, it is intended as an example address for explanatory purposes, not a valid link to be followed.

                      Second of all, a URL to a redirect is still a valid link. A redirect is not an error.

      • by AmiMoJo (196126)

        To be honest if they can't figure out why their traceroute output is different to the tutorial that uses a specific domain then it's probably better that hey give up there and then.

    • by snowgirl (978879)

      I was a little peeved by the Keep-Alive: yes

      If all you're doing is a redirect, it's like... why would you leave the connection open? "Dude, go here... and um... stick around for a bit, I just want to make sure you don't have anything else to ask about..."

      • I was a little peeved by the Keep-Alive: yes

        Doesn't seem to be an issue for me:

        telnet www.example.com 80
        GET / HTTP/1.0

        HTTP/1.0 302 Found
        Location: http://www.iana.org/domains/example/
        Server: BigIP
        Connection: close
        Content-Length: 0

        Connection to host lost.

        Maybe the client was requesting a keep-alive, as all modern browsers expect to do? Or maybe it's an HTTP/1.0 vs. /1.1 difference.

        • by snowgirl (978879)

          Maybe the client was requesting a keep-alive, as all modern browsers expect to do? Or maybe it's an HTTP/1.0 vs. /1.1 difference.

          Yes, HTTP/1.1 automatically assumes keep-alive is desired, while HTTP/1.0 makes the opposite assumption.

          Of course, HTTP/1.1 also requires a Server: entry for all requests as well...

          • by Kalriath (849904)

            You mean a "Host:" header right? I believe that's actually optional too.

            • by snowgirl (978879)

              You mean a "Host:" header right? I believe that's actually optional too.

              Ah yes, you're right, it is the Host field, although it is not optional, it is mandatory (from http://www.w3.org/Protocols/rfc2616/rfc2616-sec14.html [w3.org] Section 14.23)

              A client MUST include a Host header field in all HTTP/1.1 request messages . If the requested URI does not include an Internet host name for the service being requested, then the Host header field MUST be given with an empty value. An HTTP/1.1 proxy MUST ensure that any request message it forwards does contain an appropriate Host header field that identifies the service being requested by the proxy. All Internet-based HTTP/1.1 servers MUST respond with a 400 (Bad Request) status code to any HTTP/1.1 request message which lacks a Host header field.

      • by Migala77 (1179151)

        I was a little peeved by the Keep-Alive: yes

        If all you're doing is a redirect, it's like... why would you leave the connection open? "Dude, go here... and um... stick around for a bit, I just want to make sure you don't have anything else to ask about..."

        In that case, don't ever look how http://bit.ly/ [bit.ly] redirects.

  • IANA (Score:5, Funny)

    by captain_dope_pants (842414) on Sunday January 30, 2011 @01:45PM (#35049826)
    They are not a what ?
  • by Chelloveck (14643) on Sunday January 30, 2011 @01:46PM (#35049830) Homepage
    The meta-syntactic variable 'foo' now redirects to 'bar'. Please update your placeholders accordingly.
  • by gstrickler (920733) on Sunday January 30, 2011 @01:47PM (#35049834)
    Please provide an example of how it should work.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      • Correct usage:
        Telnet can be used to connect to an SMTP server by giving the port number 25 as a second parameter. For example: telnet example.com 25 (Replace example.com with the fully qualified domain name of the mail server that you want to connect to.)
      • Incorrect usage:
        To see how telnet can be used to connect to an SMTP server, enter telnet example.com 25.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Are you guys drunk ?

  • by Cyberax (705495) on Sunday January 30, 2011 @02:14PM (#35049956)

    Microsoft has been using http://tempuri.org/ [tempuri.org] as a default namespace in webservices. So far it worked pretty good.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by simplypeachy (706253)
      Alternatively you could use http://example.com/ [example.com] instead of making up your own stuff which serves no purpose whatsoever.
      • No purpose whatsoever? I disagree - by using their own domain they can ensure completely the function of the uri used, rather than relying on third parties providing continuous availability, and they can also place some information at the uri regarding the usage of the uri within the required context.

        I think thats three very useful purposes.
        • I would trust IANA to ensure the continued availability of the RFC 2606 to the extent that I would not worry about it being pulled. I'd say that since any user that sees $tempuri is testing and/or using the documentation at the time, then they don't need any extra information from $tempuri - it's not there to document - rather as a placeholder for the tester. However, I do agree your points both have merit :-)
    • by iluvcapra (782887)

      Jamies-Mac:~ jamie$ telnet tempuri.org 80
      Trying 207.46.197.32...
      Connected to tempuri.org.
      Escape character is '^]'.
      GET / HTTP/1.0

      HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently
      Cache-Control: private
      Content-Length: 23
      Content-Type: text/html
      Location: http://www.microsoft.com/
      Server: Microsoft-IIS/7.0
      Set-Cookie: ASPSESSIONIDSCRTQCBT=OOMFGMHCDGHHDMPJLACINBJP; path=/
      P3P: CP='ALL IND DSP COR ADM CONo CUR CUSo IVAo IVDo PSA PSD TAI TELo OUR SAMo CNT COM INT NAV ONL PHY PRE PUR UNI'
      X-Powered-By: ASP.NET
      X-UA-Compatible: IE=EmulateI

      • by Cyberax (705495)

        There was a nice page explaining that "tempuri" is a name for a placeholder. But we've Slashdotted it :)

      • by Ash-Fox (726320)

        This particular placeholder seems highly vendor-dependent to me.

        Maybe you've never heard of something called 'virtual hosting' which pretty much all 'vendors' support these days?

        $ telnet tempuri.org 80
        Trying 207.46.197.32...
        Connected to tempuri.org.
        Escape character is '^]'.
        GET / HTTP/1.1
        HOST: tempuri.org

        HTTP/1.1 200 OK
        Content-Length: 4578
        Content-Type: text/html
        Content-Location: http://tempuri.org/Default.htm
        Last-Modified: Fri, 02 Aug 2002 05:29:52 GMT
        Accept-Ranges: bytes
        ETag: "62d168a0e539c21:0"
        Ser

    • Microsoft has been using http://tempuri.org/ [tempuri.org] as a default namespace in webservices. So far it worked pretty good.

      Let me know when they use tempura instead. That'd be a more interesting example.

  • damn, i was using a hash of the page's contents in my custom password hashing function, going to have to update it for the new page now.
  • When I make fake links to everything while mocking up websites, everything goes to that site. It's pure awesome. (Made slightly more awesome a couple years ago when they updated the purpleness of the purple.)

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Oh god, I think I'm losing my sanity. Reality is slipping through my fingers. A frontpage story on /. about some site with non-standardised content changing content is supposed to break things. Then some purple site which just begs the question: what the fuck? I'm starting to hyperventilate. Better lie down and touch the ground, to make sure I'm still here, that I'm not freaking out!

      • Purple.com is not for sale

        We do use purple.com. We understand that those who are not technically inclined nor in the know may not see that. That's ok. We don't think any less of those who don't know our personal business.

        You obviously must not be "technically inclined" or "in the know". :)

  • by macraig (621737) <`mark.a.craig' `at' `gmail.com'> on Sunday January 30, 2011 @04:09PM (#35050616)

    Is this a bad change? Will the redirect cause problems for anybody?

    Who's askin'? The IANA, or some dude wearing nothing but underwear and a threadbare tinfoil hat?

    • by blueZ3 (744446)

      Well, it's a /. "editor" so I'm guessing B) "some dude wearing nothing but underwear and a threadbare tinfoil hat?" (shudders at the mental image)

  • If you're confused by this, you shouldn't be allowed to use any technology more complex than a spoon.

  • by fluor2 (242824)

    So that's why Microsoft invented http://contoso.com/ [contoso.com]

  • They should put ads on the site and use that to eliminate the IANA domain fee.

  • Example.com/.net/.org has been extremely valuable over the years for documentation purposes... I remember people who didn't know about this picking some random idea of a website, and occasionally running into the porn or satire running on whitehouse.com and whitehouse.org. Good times.

    My even more frequent use of those domains will also not suffer from this: shitware websites who want my email address for no valid reason. "Enter your email to download the driver for our hardware you purchased." That kind

  • That was my favorite homepage. If it's changed I'm done with the internet. I quit. I hope they didn't update it and fruck up the navigation and look like other sites have done recently...

    K.

  • As the original RFC doesn't mention anything about what should happen if you went to example.com, I'd have thought the professional thing to do would be ask!

    Release a statement, let people put some pros/cons...hell a surveymonkey would have been enough.

  • we can use ex.com ^^
  • I suspect a hostile take over. They should have installed a https server so we'd know the redirect wasn't part of a nefarious plot.

Save gas, don't use the shell.

Working...