Wednesday, December 07, 2005

NewsFlash: Safari Forwarding Troubles with GoDaddy (and others?)

I've been a little perplexed since I started getting questions a week ago about problems with my JeffMacArthur.com domain forwarding to this site. Well Patrick, a kind reader, pointed me to a story on Digg.com that started me on a quest that has encompassed a lot of web research and a couple of calls to GoDaddy.

My calls to GoDaddy yielded little to begin with ("it's working fine on our end") as they were using PCs and IE and so weren't experiencing a problem. After I explained that I had read that this was specific to Macs and Safari (and Opera too), I found out that they claim this to be a result of a recent Security (or other) Update that changed something about how Safari resolves its forwarding. After talking to a floor supervisor, I came to the conclusion, as reached by many others , that GoDaddy wasn't very interested (and possibly just not capable, I guess) in doing anything about this.

The story has since been picked up by MacNN and there is loads of discussion on the Apple Support Boards (see Popular Topics at side or do a search). Some are saying that GoDaddy is using bungled forwarding routines and Safari is too strict to accept them. Some say that this is totally a Safari issue. I, for one, don't understand how the problem can't be solved quickly given that there ARE forwarding domains out there that DO work. One very strange thing is that a lot of people are reporting (myself included) that Safari can forward properly if you open another browser (Firefox was most mentioned) and access the page forwarding there first (the idea being that this somehow "teaches" Safari how to resolve the bungled forwarding)!?!?

In any case, bear with this if you're a Safari user, as I'm hoping Apple will provide a fix seeing as how it doesn't look like GoDaddy has any interest in supplying one (or, again, maybe they just can't). In the meantime, if this is happening to you, go out and bug them both to get this issue resolved - it's a huge obstacle for bloggers, commercial entities, and others who rely on domain forwarding online.

Safari is now the third most popular browser, behind Internet Explorer and Firefox but ahead of Netscape and others, so I think this problem deserves some serious attention. We won't be ignored :-) .
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12/07/2005 05:01:00 PM  

2 Comments:

Blogger Michael Ridley said...

if you open another browser (Firefox was most mentioned) and access the page forwarding there first (the idea being that this somehow "teaches" Safari how to resolve the bungled forwarding)!?!?

How does that work? The only way that would make sense to me would be if Safari and Firefox were using the same cache...but as far as I know, they don't. Mysterious.

-m

December 10, 2005 5:49 AM  
Blogger Jeff MacArthur said...

Yeah, it's very bizarre, but I've tested it on my desktop Mac and that is what happens - I have no idea how it makes any sense, though.

Not sure why, but I don't seem to be having the same problem with domain forwarding in the past day or two - maybe GoDaddy fixed something BUT, now that I think about it, I'm not on the same Mac (I'm using my PowerBook) and I haven't installed the Security Update 2005-009 v1.0 on this computer!

Looking at the update components, I do see that there are changes for Safari listed. The Safari info on this update states:

Impact: Processing a regular expressions may result in arbitrary code execution

Description: The JavaScript engine in Safari uses a version of the PCRE library that is vulnerable to a potentially exploitable heap overflow. This may lead to the execution of arbitrary code. This update addresses the issue by providing a new version of the JavaScript engine that incorporates more robust input validation.


So maybe GoDaddy's forwarding is using some regular expression to resolve the domain forwarding and this "fix" on the security side actually breaks GoDaddy (and similar types of) forwarding. This could indicate that GoDaddy is using some non-standard code to accomplish forwarding, but both companies should have an interest in fixing this. Safari does conform to web standards very strictly, but there has to be some flexibility in this, as the web is constantly evolving. Hmm, I'll have to test my new hypothesis when I'm back at my desktop.

December 15, 2005 1:31 PM  

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