It Seemed So Clever

Thomas Construction offers a $75 gas cards to people on a direct mail list.  Users can visit a Web site to sign up for the program, and the URL for the site uses the name on the direct mailing as a subdomain instead of as a querystring parameter.

For example, B– here gets his information prepopulated:

B works.
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Now, if you go to the www subdomain, you are recognized as a guest:

I am a guest.
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Now, you know what the first thing I would check and one thing that nobody else would check at Thomas’s interactive agency, don’t you?

If you use a name it doesn’t recognize as the subdomain, you might’ve successfully Captain Kirked the machine:

 Now, with the machine confused, you can engineer your escape from the planet.
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Does that look like an infinite loop to you?  I cannot say because:

  1. Dammit, Jim, I a tester, not a theologian!  I cannot argue the nature of the Infinite!
  2. I was not patient enough to see if it ever came up with something useable; after a couple minutes, it had not.  The browser made the clicking noise, and the blank screen above displayed again and again.

Sure, Quick Testing tips advises you to increment a number in the querystring to see what happens.  Here at QAHY, we say do everything to the querystring and see what happens.  Including the subdomain.

No Responses to “It Seemed So Clever”

  1. pberry Says:

    I love querystrings. “But a user would never do that!” comes the developer’s retort. But if they can, they will…

  2. The Director Says:

    QA is not about would. QA is about can.


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