routing around incompetence
Sunday, October 3 2010
For the most part Godaddy.com hasn't been bad for me as a bulk provider of cut-rate McHosting. But when they suck, they really suck. Things can break and nobody will do a damn thing to fix them until I complain. This is even true of their most economical "shared hosting" plans, where scads of would-be webmasters share a single server. While there are a lot of people out there with websites, and a lot of those websites are on craptastic providers like Godaddy.com, I think the majority of those sites are vanity domains or half-baked stabs at ecommerce where someone had somebody's teenage nephew put together a website that was soon forgotten. Such sites don't really need to be especially reliable or to have functioning databases or reliable outgoing mail servers; nobody uses them, so they can go down for weeks at a time and nobody notices. But my friend David's website is a real production website that has to be up and send out nearly 900 emails per week. If its outgoing mail server isn't working, I get a fucking phone call. And so, among all the other shit I've had to do, this weekend I've had to diagnose what the hell is wrong with Godaddy's outgoing email, at least on whatever equipment is hosting David's website. It should just work, but the mails are "administratively denied." So I've called Godaddy tech support and waded through all the questions that assume I am to blame, ultimately rubbing their noses in their failing server. But days have passed and still that server is broken. So today I created a workaround. That's right, yet again I found myself having to spend my unpaid weekend hours routing around someone else's incompetence. Why? because nearly a year ago I was nice to David and said, "Sure, I'll do your Cold-Fusion-to-PHP migration even though you say you have little money to pay me." It's the story of my life. Just once it would be nice to be fucking someone else in the ass instead of being fucked in the ass. But I digress.
Today's routing-around-incompetence involved taking all the parameters that would normally go to PHP's mail function and instead sending them as form variables via a backend socket connection to another server and having that server send the mails. After hammering out a few bugs it seemed to work perfectly. The good thing about this system is that theoretically I can use it to send one site's emails from any other domain that I control (as long as the sending domain can run PHP). At this point I have a whole arsenal of these sorts of workarounds, all of them necessary in a highly-technological-but-gravely-imperfect world.
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