Simply Testable Updates #105: Handling Unsendable Emails, More Podcast Ad Prep

Simply Testable Updates #105: Handling Unsendable Emails, More Podcast Ad Prep

September 3, 2014
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This is the 105th of weekly progress updates on the development of Simply Testable, your professional automated web frontend testing service providing one-click testing for your entire site.

Handling Unsendable Emails
Our systems will try to send you an email in various situations, such as when:
  • creating an account
  • resetting your password
  • changing your email address
  • inviting a new user to join your team
We send email asychronously so that any action you take gets a response as soon as possible. Actually, we don't really send email at all; we squirt some data over HTTP to Postmark which then sends emails for us at some future time.

Sometimes an email will be sent but can never be received such as is the case when the receiving mail server responds by saying "nope, no such mailbox here" or "nope, mailbox full go away".

You can never tell that an email can never be received when you first try. You'll ask Postmark to send an email and Postmark will indeed send an email.

In cases where the receiving mail server responds with a "nope, go away", Postmark will mark the recipient as inactive and won't let you try to send to the same recipient again as Postmark knows this just won't work.

I'll admit to not really quite fully reading the Postmark documentation and not knowing that this happened. Thankfully our wonderful lead tester spotted that some actions related to never-going-to-work email addresses generated server errors.

In response, I'm updating all aspects of our systems that send email so as to handle cases where Postmark comes back with a "no, I'm not going to do that" response.

The vast majority of people will never notice any difference but the tiny minority that try to create an account with an email address that cannot receive email will notice and may even appreicate the change.

More Podcast Ad Prep
I've prepared the content for the our ad to be aired on TMS and sent it off to the nice guys who run the show. Hopefully that will run in the next week or so, although I can't be sure as this is the first time I've done anything like this. I'm sure I'll know in advance when the ad will actually happen as someone will get back to me and say "please pay this bill before we read your words into the ears of 125k listeners".

Upcoming Work
Over the next week or so I'll be sorting out more handling of unsendable emails and will be looking into further ways to promote the service.

As always, if you'd like to see web testing you find boring handled automatically for you, add a suggestion or vote up those that interest you. This really helps.

Feedback, thoughts or ideas: email, follow @simplytestable or keep an eye on the Simply Testable blog.


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