where *not* to register your domain name

Spoiler alert, it’s Network Solutions. It seems like just last month I was trying to rescue a vanity domain name from Under-Construction obscurity. It appears that every four weeks Network Solutions wants to enjoy ad revenue by taking over your hosted domain name (when you stop watching them like a hawk). So instead of your customers landing on your website they end up on an Under Construction page which has keyword lookups. Obviously, they make money like this by stealing your property when you’re otherwise not watching out for this treachery.

UnderConstruction

So now I’m on the long hold with customer support, having entered the combination of voicemail commands to put myself into the wants-to-cancel-service queue. Of course, this queue is poorly-staffed because they don’t want you to cancel any of the services.

Having now waited out a 30-minute+ hold queue I eventually got to talk with a Michelle who couldn’t actually help me directly since I’m not the principal on the account. I prep’d the principal to indicate YES to the cancelation but we’ll see if that actually plays out. I suppose I get to wait until tomorrow then to bring that vanity domain into service.  <_<

Other People Complaining About Network Solutions

let the wars begin

Oh, the fun.  Microsoft and Google seem to be at odds these days or so it would seem. It’s like a cold war is going on just beneath the surface.

Google Domains freezes in IE

The new Beta Google Domains website is Google throwing their hat into the ring of the annual US$500M domain registration market. Given their programming clout, they could create almost any kind of website and support any kind of browser. And of course the entire administrative interface on Google Domains crashes spectacularly if you use Internet Explorer. I would suggest that this is “by design”.

Outlook in Office 365 marks @google.com as junkmail

I kid you not. Right out of the box with a fresh installation of Office 365 today on a Windows 10 computer I see that the only inbound email is in the Junkmail folder and it’s from Google Domains’ notifier.

unseen complications

Don’t you hate the unseen complications that rear their ugly heads somewhere down the line?  Today’s drama involved the inclusion of a very cool fullscreen api by Vincent Guillou.  Of course, it worked great in development and then failed silently on production.  Here is an overview of what makes my production site a little different.

Production Site Overview

GoDaddy domain name hosting with option “forwarding with masking” —> Firebase.com—based hosting site

GoDaddy does this technically by serving up a single HTML page which simply frames the remote content.  By its nature, it uses the HTTP protocol and cannot use HTTPS. In its configuration it allows you to set either HTTP/HTTPS for the framed content, however.  You’d think that you would have plenty of room to make something work. And it did work just fine up until the latest add to the project:  a button which allows the browser to go full screen and back again.

Unfortunately, the first push to production then failed silently. The button was there but didn’t seem to work. Entering the development area of the browser I saw that the browser had to block the content because the framing page was HTTP and the framed content was HTTPS and this isn’t allowed.

Okay, so I thought I could then adjust GoDaddy’s settings so that I could frame the content as HTTP to match the parent document. Unfortunately I see that Firebase always uses HTTPS and does not support HTTP. Since I can’t mis-match the content and combined with the fact that I can’t easily promote GoDaddy to HTTPS on the framing page or demote Firebase on the framed page, I was screwed.

To make a long story short, I either had to pay for hosting at Firebase (which allows you to bind your domain name to their hosting server) or I could abandon the cool  feature. Since I’m trying to highlight the cool new features of the latest browsers I decided that’s it’s better to just pay Firebase in this case.

It was still a bit technical in getting all this to work since Firebase only bound a single entity (www) to the website using my domain. This means that if someone just puts in my domain name only then they’re stuck at a GoDaddy-parked page. To work around this problem, I set up a redirect to deal with this situation. This time it looked like:  myJS.io -> http://www.myJS.io. Problem solved.

So now, the cool new feature is working on production and the implementation is slightly simpler, not that anyone else would necessarily know.