Looping through the gmail dot trick

Steven D'Aprano steve at REMOVE-THIS-cybersource.com.au
Sun Jan 20 23:18:34 CET 2008

On Sun, 20 Jan 2008 21:13:03 +0000, Neil Hodgson wrote:

> Martin Marcher:
>> are you saying that when i have 2 gmail addresses
>> "foo.bar at gmail.com" and
>> "foobar at gmail.com"
>> they are actually treated the same? That is plain wrong and would break
>> a lot of mail addresses as I have 2 that follow just this pattern and
>> they are delivered correctly!
>     This is a feature of some mail services such as Gmail, not of email
> addresses generically. One use is to provide a set of addresses given
> one base address. '+' works as well as '.' so when I sign up to service
> monty I give them the address nyamatongwe+monty at gmail.com. Then when I
> receive spam at nyamatongwe+monty, I know who to blame and what to
> block.

Technically, everything in the local part of the address (the bit before 
the @ sign) is supposed to be interpreted *only* by the host given in the 
domain (the bit after the @ sign). So if Gmail wants to interpret 
"foo.bar at gmail.com" and "foobar at gmail.com" the same, they can.

Or for that matter, "raboof at gmail.com". Although that would be silly.

Postfix, I think, interpets "foo+bar" the same as "foo".


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