Vermont Softworks:

blog entry

A good idea, poorly implemented

My mother used to say that the right thing at the wrong time is the wrong thing.” Similarly, I suppose you could say that the right thing done incorrectly is also the wrong thing. And indeed, we could say just that about a good idea I had a couple of years ago — and unfortunately, I discovered only today that it was done incorrectly.

the good idea

Anyone who’s ever published their e‑mail address on a web site learns quickly that it’s a bad idea: the spamgates open wide, and even with the best spam filters set up you’re quickly inundated. So rather than include my address on this site, I built a contact web form. When a visitor fills out the form and presses Submit, their message gets sent to me via e‑mail — but the address can’t be harvested by nefarious spambots. I tested it, and it worked well. In fact, I went on to receive several important communications through it.

incorrectly done

A year and a half ago, though, I decided that I’d rather receive these messages at one of my other e‑mail addresses. I changed the code. I did not test it. What was to test, right? I had merely replaced one of my e‑mail addresses with another. Well, right. But I mistyped it. And I mistyped it in such a way that the mail server that ended up receiving submitted forms knew” that it shouldn’t send a message back to the user telling them that their message couldn’t be delivered. Oops.

the fallout

In short, no one who filled out the contact form between August of 2018 and February of 2020 actually reached me. And they weren’t told. So they all think that I rudely ignored them. Sigh.

I’ve fixed the problem. It wasn’t difficult: it just required correcting my address. If you wanted to reach me, I’m terribly sorry. Please do try again. It will work this time, I’m sure. I tested it. 🤷🏼