Is www still needed?
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
The web is all grown up. We all know that www
stands for "World Wide Web," so most organizations drop the www
from print and just give their web address as, for example, josesandoval.com
Well, there are some instances where this doesn't work. Last week, I found this error message:
Out of all web companies, you would think google would take care of this "minor" issue. I know what the problem is, but other google users may not and decide that what they are trying to do in this google site has been hacked since that is the implication of the warning (it's a FireFox warning).
Testing an entire system is not trivial, but with enough resources the coverage of every creak increases, thus increasing the chances of finding the most obvious broken things. This warning shouldn't really happen at google.
As for the error, the problem is that the SSL certificate was issued for the website www.google.com/adsense. I went to google.com/adsense (I dropped the www). The two addresses are one an the same, as they resolve to the same IP address. However, the certificate doesn't know this: it only has the concept of the string www.google.com.
I'm always amazed at how the whole internet thing works: the whole system is so fragile, yet robust enough to withstand major outages and packets still find their way to their destination. All thanks to TCP/IP. I believe TCP/IP to be one of the greatest legacies of the 20th century.