Trying to register online for the COVID vaccination in Germany:

the process breaks if you use an email with underscores in the address 🙄

Fucking "Neuland".

... also breaks if you use a plus sign in the address.

Let's see how many more perfectly valid characters I can find.

Little Bobby Tables would like to get vaccinated! 🤣

@Gargron Depends on which federal state you live in, but yes.

In the case of Bavaria that would be (which is where I observed the broken behavior)

@fribbledom makes you think! What in gods name are they doing in the backend that this breaks? Parsing with regex? Are they testing their software?


people with underscores in their email adress are immune to the virus 😂

@fribbledom It's somehow soothing to hear that all governments are incompetent, not just ours.

@fribbledom try using a tld that was introduced sometime this millennium

@00dani @fribbledom Even one from years ago. So many sites hate my `` account.

"Do you mean"


i wouldn't be surprised if even the @ sign was deemed invalid 😂

If it weren't such a serious thing, it'd suggest, you try that...

@fribbledom Is it concerning when you know the numbers of the corresponding xkcd comic by heart?

@fribbledom don't dare to put special characters in your password. it may break the impfzentrum

@fribbledom how about periods or {braces] in the local-part?
quoted with spaces?
leading or trailing parenthesised (comments) in the local-part?

@lx someone who has slapped various sites with the RFC as well as the Wikipedia page because I couldn't use my e-mail address, most commonly with plus-filtering. :)


@fribbledom 2021 and I regularly send emails to Webshops to stick to standards and accept the plus sign in email addresses.

Once I had a site that accepted the + but their system stripped everything before it, so emails were (at least) delivered to my catchall...

DHL kills it... they offer the + on the on screen keyboard of their parcel boxes but then don't accept it 🤦‍♂️
They did never answer my complaint.

This seems to be sooo hard to properly implement 😐

@fribbledom $is_valid = preg_match('/^[a-z]+@[a-z]+.[a-z][a-z][a-z]?/', $email) == 1;

@fribbledom This is one of the most frustrating things... valid email addresses are complicated to parse for, but there are recipes already solving the problem. Maybe you miss weird edge cases, but + is a super common character and important to a lot of people's workflow. (Specifically, to create unique email addresses for tracking who is giving out your email to third-parties.)

@fribbledom Rhe first three characters of my email address are “a@9”. Both the one-char user part and the leading digit in the domain screw up a bunch of systems.

I keep trying to report them but nobody I talk to has any idea what I’m talking about. I’ve had a bunch of conversations which come down to “look, just tell an engineer that the regexp on line N of file foo.js is wrong and they’ll know what you’re talking about”.

@fribbledom That's how they make sure old people get the vaccine first. They sign up on paper, while young ones try online 😅

@fribbledom I don't recall ever seeing email with underscore. They didn't either, by the looks of it :D


name[.+_]surname@domain is pretty popular over here.

@fribbledom doesn't plus indicate the optional custom label?
Everyone here use period between the names, or some strange contraction like pnovak for Pepa Novák. Or just the names tacked together

@piggo Some mail servers use '+' for a custom label. That's compliant with the email standards but their own choice, the standards don't say anything about it.


@fribbledom @piggo Huh. For some reason it had never before occurred to me to use first_surname@domain, despite using underscores instead of spaces in filenames for well over a decade.

@fribbledom I used to have an underscore in my email address (until 2005ish?). So many people had issues reading that in handwritten form and replaced the underscore with something else, so many websites complained about not being valid

@fribbledom At $INSURANCECO we just integrated with $BANK's payment service and they reject emails with '_' too.

"Your roof blew off in the tornado? Oshit here's a preliminary claim payment for living expenses so you can get your family into a hotel. What's that? You can't cash a paper check because all your bank's branches are closed? Sorry, no direct deposit because our bank can't spell your email address."

@fribbledom @gws And the e-payment authorization happens at or after claim creation so they really would only find out at the last minute.

I think I should talk with the BAs for policy-intake and see if we can't warn customers sooner.

@fribbledom they know they have enough time before they want you to get the vaccine. They'll do it last minute or wait for your new email with * and # in them.

@fribbledom It annoys me how many devs don't read the RFC for email addresses yet enforce arbitrary rules on the input. It especially annoys me when they refuse to accept "+" as that is a common marker which you can use for filtering 🙄

I remember at*t employees had their bang path on their business cards. Anybody still use UUCP lol.
I used to use underscore to sign up for stuff like
but it's annoying how many broken signup forms there are
@fribbledom I didn't realize it was possible to have underscores in e-mail address. At least the hostname part is resolved through DNS, which only permits dashes and periods. Leaving the disappointment behind, should not it be trivial for you to create an alias that does not contain underscores?


For me, sure. For tens of thousands of other people in this country: probably not so trivial.

Sign in to participate in the conversation

Server run by the main developers of the project 🐘 It is not focused on any particular niche interest - everyone is welcome as long as you follow our code of conduct!