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July 09, 2008

A Gazillion Reasons--Pick One

I was looking up the whois information for a spamvertised domain today, and encountered what seems to be the ultimate in lazy user interface design programming. It's possible that the "designer" thought he was being helpful by offering reasons why a search didn't work, but this laundry list approach is ridiculous:

[Querying whois.internic.net]
[Redirected to whois.internet.bs]
[Querying whois.internet.bs]
We are unable to process your request at this time. The whois informationis [sic] unavailable for domain ([removed].com) for one of the following reasons:

(1) Too many simulataneous [sic] connections from your host;
(2) The domain you requested is not with this Registrar;
(3) You have exceeded your query limit;
(4) Your IP address has been restricted;
(5) Whois data is not available for this domain - check back in 48 hours when our server is updated;
(6) Access has been restricted to ensure operational stability;
(7) A system error has occurred;
(8) The time limit for your request has expired;
(9) The IP address provided is not valid or the host specified by the IP address does not exist;
(10) There is an error in what you have inputed [sic] or requested;
(11) An unknown error has occurred;
(12) The domain is not currently registered;
(13) The domain you requested contains invalid characters;
(14) The domain you requested is too long;
(15) The domain you requested begins or ends with a dash;
(16) The domain you requested is a third or fourth level domain;
(17) You did not specify a domain name.

Yeah, that should cover it.

Note that the registrar here is internet.bs, where the .bs country code top-level domain is for the Bahamas. I can imagine a laid back lifestyle in the Bahamas, but the coding behind this error message is just too laid back. I mean there must be code branches that trigger errors (raise exceptions) for each of those cases. The programmers clearly are aware of the possible cases and even have error wording for each case. I get the feeling that if any error condition occurs, they simply spit out the whole list, rather than report the specific issue that raised the exception. Supplying too much information in this case equals supplying no information.

.BS. Really!

Posted on July 09, 2008 at 08:49 AM