Automatic emails for xkcd

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What do you think of xkcdmailer?

Useful
27
40%
Not for me
37
55%
Crap
3
4%
 
Total votes: 67

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abrenecki
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Automatic emails for xkcd

Postby abrenecki » Mon Sep 10, 2007 10:06 am UTC

Get xkcd emailed to you automatically! Click here!
(enter your email in the box under the second heading down the page)
Edit: If anyone votes 'Crap', it's appreciated if you leave a comment and tell me why and how I can improve it.
I'm too lazy to go to xkcd.com everyday, so I created xkcdmailer to email it to me, and thanks to xkcd's CC BY-NC lisence (sp?), I can share it with you guys. Just remember to add blackhole@hoppingmouse.com to your whitelist. (blackhole = no-reply) The emails will come within 15 mins of a new comic. Enjoy, and give me your thoughts.

Edit: read this if your email is being rejected! Emails are validated using the following Perl extended regular expression:

Code: Select all

/^[a-z0-9\-\+._]*@[a-z0-9\-]*\.[a-z0-9\-.]*$/i

Basically, this means you can have (letters, numbers, dashes, pluses, dots or underscores)@(letters, numbers, dashes, and dots). So, as you can see, plus-addressing is supported. But, there might be something else in this regular expression that is rejecting your email. If your email matches this, tell me what it is and I'll try and fix the regex. If not, tell me which character doesn't match it, and I'll add it.

PS: I'm using the following regex:

Code: Select all

/<img src="http:\/\/imgs\.xkcd\.com\/comics\/([^"]*)" title="([^"]*)" alt="([^"]*)"/

If anyone can suggest a better one, feel free. Just in case the <img> tag gets changed.
Last edited by abrenecki on Wed Aug 12, 2009 8:14 am UTC, edited 5 times in total.

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Gelsamel
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Postby Gelsamel » Mon Sep 10, 2007 10:37 am UTC

Wow someone who actually posted in the intro thread first.

Looks cool, but I'm on here all the time so I'm not sure if I'd use it.
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abrenecki
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Happiness!

Postby abrenecki » Mon Sep 10, 2007 11:55 am UTC

Just crashed Dreamweaver, restarting it to count the emails...
OK, five voted, four think it's great, but no-one signed up... Perhaps some clarification.

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Re: Happiness!

Postby SoapyHobo » Mon Sep 10, 2007 11:59 am UTC

abrenecki wrote:four think it's great, but no-one signed up... Perhaps some clarification.

Because the people who think it's great already come here often and don't need the comic to be emailed to them, perhaps?
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abrenecki
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Postby abrenecki » Mon Sep 10, 2007 12:09 pm UTC

I was thinking that I needed to clarify the fact that the large writing is in fact a link. The people you mention would vote 'not for me', surely? And surely the people who think it's great would sign up?

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Gelsamel
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Postby Gelsamel » Mon Sep 10, 2007 12:11 pm UTC

Eh, I voted useful even though I wouldn't use it simply because I think it would be useful for some people. I didn't say "Not for me" because it almost sounds negative. Either way I expect there will be a few that would like to have it emailed to them.
"Give up here?"
- > No
"Do you accept defeat?"
- > No
"Do you think games are silly little things?"
- > No
"Is it all pointless?"
- > No
"Do you admit there is no meaning to this world?"
- > No

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Jesse
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Postby Jesse » Mon Sep 10, 2007 12:14 pm UTC

My concern is does it then rob Randall of page views? I gather these are important.

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abrenecki
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Postby abrenecki » Mon Sep 10, 2007 12:40 pm UTC

I had the same concern when developing it. Randall appears to have no advertising on the page, except for his own Store.
Reality-modifying stickers and a new shirt in the store!

encourage readers of the email to visit the XKCD site, and, this in mind, might add a Store link soon, like the above, above the comic. Plus, Randall seems to encourage hotlinking and embedding:
Image URL (for hotlinking/embedding): http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/dating_pools.png

If anyone has any ideas for how I can minimise the effect of pageview loss, by all means tell me. As far as the actual counts go, I can of course set it up to somehow send anonymous pageview count data to Randall or the 'invisible webmaster', or otherwise log it, should they require that information if xkcdmailer becomes a widely-used method of getting the comic. And, if the license changes disallowing this, I will of course take it down. If anyone can think of other reasons Randall would want pageviews apart from numbers and ads, again reply.
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Postby damienthebloody » Mon Sep 10, 2007 12:48 pm UTC

...what's wrong with just using the rss feed?
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abrenecki
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Postby abrenecki » Mon Sep 10, 2007 12:58 pm UTC

RSS feed readers. No RSS feed readers integrate as well into your email inbox as... well... an email. This is intended as an alternative to a feed reader for people like me who have way too many daemons & Firefox toolbars already, and want to integrate it into a web-based mail service. You could use an emailer from a web feed reader, but this way is simpler and purpose built. Fore some people RSS feed readers are better, especially if they already get news &c from them. For me, the only thing I regularly chack is my email, and only 'cos it's my homepage.

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Jesse
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Postby Jesse » Mon Sep 10, 2007 1:24 pm UTC

To be honest, I get to the Fora through the comic, so I always see it anyway. Good idea for some people I guess, but not much use to myself in particular.

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Postby killerstar » Mon Sep 10, 2007 5:26 pm UTC

It would be useful, but I actually prefer the.. let's say suspense of not knowing if I will see a new comic while the web is loading...


(don't ruin it)

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Postby LE4dGOLEM » Mon Sep 10, 2007 5:59 pm UTC

Jesster wrote:To be honest, I get to the Fora through the comic, so I always see it anyway. Good idea for some people I guess, but not much use to myself in particular.


I have seen at least four comics by the discussion thread before actually frontpaging to it.
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abrenecki
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Postby abrenecki » Tue Sep 11, 2007 7:31 am UTC

Unfortunately my host, NearlyFreeSpeech, is moving today so I can't see how many people signed up, but don't worry, because anyone who has actually signed up will get new comics within 15 minutes of the site coming back online.

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abrenecki
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Postby abrenecki » Wed Sep 12, 2007 12:45 pm UTC

I suppose fora regulars wouldn't use this... which makes it a stupid place to post it. Ah well, its on StumbleUpon now, so it'll hopefully get some signups.. someday... How can I get the word out? I just want someone to use this app... still no signups. Ah well.

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Postby hermaj » Wed Sep 12, 2007 1:06 pm UTC

Hey, well, you've got it out here a little now. Another part of your problem here might be that we don't really know you and we get a lot of spammers here. We kept you in on moderator discretion because you are legit, but a lot of people here are pretty wary of spam things and dodgy programs.

EDIT: Not that I am saying yours is a dodgy program! I just reread that and it sounds awful. I mean that we've had spammers post dodgy things and people do not always want to take the risk.

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Postby Dark Ragnarok » Thu Sep 13, 2007 10:27 am UTC

I just signed up. I find this very useful for me. ^^;. I don;t always have time to browse the forums and i may miss a comic without knowing it. I still find a couple in the archive i have never read before, and so i'll need this is my back up to semi keep in touch when i get overloaded by my life away form the interwob. Arrigato!

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abrenecki
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Postby abrenecki » Thu Sep 13, 2007 11:05 am UTC

You've made my day. You'll be the first person I don't know personally to use any of my PHP projects. :D

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abrenecki
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Postby abrenecki » Thu Sep 13, 2007 11:14 am UTC

hermaj wrote:...we don't really know you and we get a lot of spammers here. ... a lot of people here are pretty wary of spam things and dodgy programs.


I suppose the fact that my first post other than my introduction was this was a little... suspicious. I might release the source code, but I'm usually hesitant to do so for hosted apps. I'd say 'Just turn JavaScript off if you don't trust me', but the sign up requires JS, and it asks for your email.

Going off on a tangent here, another advantage of this app is I can easily expand it into a Google Gadget, etc. Just gotta learn how to make them.
Edit: Again, the RSS would probably be just fine in this case.

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Postby Dark Ragnarok » Thu Sep 13, 2007 12:20 pm UTC

abrenecki wrote:You've made my day. You'll be the first person I don't know personally to use any of my PHP projects. :D


Sweeeeeeeeeeeeet.

Do i get some candy?.....



all of a sudden i crave.................




*silence*


Pocky.

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abrenecki
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Postby abrenecki » Fri Sep 14, 2007 11:26 am UTC

No, but you might get something else sometime, so long as you keep your email address. Probably nothing with any monetary value, though. Unless I make some money out of an Australian for-profit app I'm starting.

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Postby RealGrouchy » Sat Sep 15, 2007 7:13 am UTC

Hermaj wrote:Not that I am saying yours is a dodgy program!
...or that it isn't. Caveat emptor, &c.

And now that I realize this is in the "Your art and links" forum and not the "Site/Forum Issues" forum (I followed a link from the mod forum), you may continue with your discussion.

- RG>
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abrenecki
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Postby abrenecki » Sun Sep 16, 2007 8:56 am UTC

[The source code is no longer available.]
Last edited by abrenecki on Tue Apr 15, 2008 6:32 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Dark Ragnarok » Sun Sep 16, 2007 9:13 am UTC

Well i got the email. And it got into my "junk" email folder which made me sad. But i found it really quick, and was happy. ^^;. Thank you for this. I wonder why it got sifted into the Junk e mail folder though.

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abrenecki
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Postby abrenecki » Mon Sep 17, 2007 6:55 am UTC

Not sure, just remember to whitelist blackhole@hoppingmouse.com and/or add it to your contacts, and enable images to the above address.

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Postby Dark Ragnarok » Tue Sep 18, 2007 12:34 am UTC

That would explain it XD. Thank you ^^. I really like this.

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Postby Rodan » Tue Sep 18, 2007 12:44 am UTC

Would be a nice little gadget if I didn't spend more time on xkcd than I do checking my e-mail.

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abrenecki
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Postby abrenecki » Wed Sep 19, 2007 8:15 am UTC

Two full gigabytes have been transferred out of my testing site! I cen't see how this could be due to anything else but xkcdmailer* (everything else is internal testing only), so I will soon be moving it to a new site. It appears PHP emails are bottlenecking (NFSN only allow 100, then 1 per minute from then on), so I either need to find a way to use Bcc: that works on Windows servers (incoming) or get NFSN to increase my email allowance.
Here's that spike, by the way:
2007-09-12 41,432
2007-09-13 52,358
2007-09-14 400,917
2007-09-15 46,115
2007-09-16 130,339
2007-09-17 28,180
2007-09-18 2,424,409,093
2007-09-19 40,209
*I wonder if this is real traffic? I'll find out.
Edit: Site'll be up soon.

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abrenecki
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Postby abrenecki » Wed Sep 19, 2007 8:39 am UTC

Despite the spike, there remains just one email on the list. Why the spike then?

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Re: Automatic emails for xkcd

Postby abrenecki » Fri Oct 05, 2007 4:19 am UTC

Ooh, a full three people are using my app! :D

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Re: Automatic emails for xkcd

Postby TheTankengine » Fri Oct 05, 2007 5:02 pm UTC

I usually go to the sight to see the comics (alt text), but I can't think of a better way to utilize some of my 90% empty gmail storage.

I signed up and clicked on the confirmation. Then it gave me the message "That's not an email." with a giant exclamation point above it. Wha' hoppen? Perhaps because I use a "+" in my address?
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Re:

Postby no-genius » Sat Oct 06, 2007 7:54 pm UTC

killerstar wrote:It would be useful, but I actually prefer the.. let's say suspense of not knowing if I will see a new comic while the web is loading...


(don't ruin it)

careful, you could open up a rip in reality doing that!

edit: I voted 'not for me', but I would be interested in a google gadget. Was that just an idea, or have you got anywhere with it so far? The emails thing isn't a bad idea, its just that my email program takes ages to load, so I usually open it about ten minutes into a session.
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Re: Automatic emails for xkcd

Postby abrenecki » Sat Oct 20, 2007 5:06 am UTC

Here's the regex used to check emails:

Code: Select all

/^[a-z0-9\-\+.]*@[a-z0-9\-]*\.[a-z0-9\-.]*$/i

As you can see, a + is allowed. It translates into (letters, numbers, -, + or dots dot) @ (letters, numbers, - or dots). A Google gadget is under development, I've already got the code to resize the image. Anyone know the standard dimensions of a Gadget? I've found a quick 15-minute Gadget tutorial (the gadget is all static, all the magic is in the image file itself, which is really a php file), so I'm good once I've got dimensions.
Edit: The image is hotlinked from xkcd.com, not stored in the email. So, storage shouldn't be an issue.

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Re: Automatic emails for xkcd

Postby abrenecki » Mon Oct 22, 2007 11:12 am UTC

I've fixed xkcdmailer so that it now accepts emails with underscores in them. Also, there is now a Google Gadget. I've started a new thread for it as it's largely seperate.

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Re: Automatic emails for xkcd

Postby TheTankengine » Sun Apr 13, 2008 7:41 pm UTC

Not sure if you are still keeping up with this, but I tried to sign up for it again today with the same result. I get the confirmation email, but when I click the link it gives me this:
Attachments
Screenshot-Error - Mozilla Firefox 3 Beta 5 (Build 2008040514).png
error
Screenshot-Error - Mozilla Firefox 3 Beta 5 (Build 2008040514).png (45.42 KiB) Viewed 12561 times
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abrenecki
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Re: Automatic emails for xkcd

Postby abrenecki » Mon Apr 14, 2008 4:14 am UTC

Your email must be in the following format:

Code: Select all

/^[a-z0-9\-\+.]*@[a-z0-9\-]*\.[a-z0-9\-.]*$/i
(letters, numbers, dashes, plusses, and dots) at (letters, numbers, and dashes) dot (letters, numbers, dashes and dots)
Let me know if there's any characters I've forgotten.

Also, the system uses the following to check your email is real:
sha1( [Your email] . [A random number known only to the server] );
and the random number is regenerated every 15 minutes, when it polls xkcd.com. If your email fits the above regex, just try twice. Else, PM me and I'll add you to the list manually.

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Re: Automatic emails for xkcd

Postby TheTankengine » Mon Apr 14, 2008 6:45 pm UTC

My e-mail is of that form. I just tried again with the same result.
Attachments
xkcdmailer.PNG
xkcdmailer.PNG (24.85 KiB) Viewed 12479 times
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Re: Automatic emails for xkcd

Postby abrenecki » Wed Apr 16, 2008 3:48 am UTC

That's very odd. Anyhoo, you've been added manually. You'll recieve the next xkcd via email. Anyone who wants to suggest a better regex?

Code: Select all

/^[a-z0-9\-\+._]*@[a-z0-9\-]*\.[a-z0-9\-.]*$/i

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Re: Automatic emails for xkcd

Postby Random832 » Wed Apr 16, 2008 4:49 pm UTC

abrenecki wrote:That's very odd. Anyhoo, you've been added manually. You'll recieve the next xkcd via email.


It probably accidentally converted the + to a space at some point.

Anyone who wants to suggest a better regex?

Code: Select all

/^[a-z0-9\-\+._]*@[a-z0-9\-]*\.[a-z0-9\-.]*$/i


http://ex-parrot.com/~pdw/Mail-RFC822-Address.html

Code: Select all

(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*(?:(?:(?:[^()<>@,;:\\".\[\] \000-\031]+(?:(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t]
)+|\Z|(?=[\["()<>@,;:\\".\[\]]))|"(?:[^\"\r\\]|\\.|(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t]))*"(?:(?:
\r\n)?[ \t])*)(?:\.(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*(?:[^()<>@,;:\\".\[\] \000-\031]+(?:(?:(
?:\r\n)?[ \t])+|\Z|(?=[\["()<>@,;:\\".\[\]]))|"(?:[^\"\r\\]|\\.|(?:(?:\r\n)?[
\t]))*"(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*))*@(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*(?:[^()<>@,;:\\".\[\] \000-\0
31]+(?:(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])+|\Z|(?=[\["()<>@,;:\\".\[\]]))|\[([^\[\]\r\\]|\\.)*\
](?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*)(?:\.(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*(?:[^()<>@,;:\\".\[\] \000-\031]+
(?:(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])+|\Z|(?=[\["()<>@,;:\\".\[\]]))|\[([^\[\]\r\\]|\\.)*\](?:
(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*))*|(?:[^()<>@,;:\\".\[\] \000-\031]+(?:(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])+|\Z
|(?=[\["()<>@,;:\\".\[\]]))|"(?:[^\"\r\\]|\\.|(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t]))*"(?:(?:\r\n)
?[ \t])*)*\<(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*(?:@(?:[^()<>@,;:\\".\[\] \000-\031]+(?:(?:(?:\
r\n)?[ \t])+|\Z|(?=[\["()<>@,;:\\".\[\]]))|\[([^\[\]\r\\]|\\.)*\](?:(?:\r\n)?[
 \t])*)(?:\.(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*(?:[^()<>@,;:\\".\[\] \000-\031]+(?:(?:(?:\r\n)
?[ \t])+|\Z|(?=[\["()<>@,;:\\".\[\]]))|\[([^\[\]\r\\]|\\.)*\](?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t]
)*))*(?:,@(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*(?:[^()<>@,;:\\".\[\] \000-\031]+(?:(?:(?:\r\n)?[
 \t])+|\Z|(?=[\["()<>@,;:\\".\[\]]))|\[([^\[\]\r\\]|\\.)*\](?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*
)(?:\.(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*(?:[^()<>@,;:\\".\[\] \000-\031]+(?:(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t]
)+|\Z|(?=[\["()<>@,;:\\".\[\]]))|\[([^\[\]\r\\]|\\.)*\](?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*))*)
*:(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*)?(?:[^()<>@,;:\\".\[\] \000-\031]+(?:(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])+
|\Z|(?=[\["()<>@,;:\\".\[\]]))|"(?:[^\"\r\\]|\\.|(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t]))*"(?:(?:\r
\n)?[ \t])*)(?:\.(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*(?:[^()<>@,;:\\".\[\] \000-\031]+(?:(?:(?:
\r\n)?[ \t])+|\Z|(?=[\["()<>@,;:\\".\[\]]))|"(?:[^\"\r\\]|\\.|(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t
]))*"(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*))*@(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*(?:[^()<>@,;:\\".\[\] \000-\031
]+(?:(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])+|\Z|(?=[\["()<>@,;:\\".\[\]]))|\[([^\[\]\r\\]|\\.)*\](
?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*)(?:\.(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*(?:[^()<>@,;:\\".\[\] \000-\031]+(?
:(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])+|\Z|(?=[\["()<>@,;:\\".\[\]]))|\[([^\[\]\r\\]|\\.)*\](?:(?
:\r\n)?[ \t])*))*\>(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*)|(?:[^()<>@,;:\\".\[\] \000-\031]+(?:(?
:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])+|\Z|(?=[\["()<>@,;:\\".\[\]]))|"(?:[^\"\r\\]|\\.|(?:(?:\r\n)?
[ \t]))*"(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*)*:(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*(?:(?:(?:[^()<>@,;:\\".\[\]
\000-\031]+(?:(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])+|\Z|(?=[\["()<>@,;:\\".\[\]]))|"(?:[^\"\r\\]|
\\.|(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t]))*"(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*)(?:\.(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*(?:[^()<>
@,;:\\".\[\] \000-\031]+(?:(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])+|\Z|(?=[\["()<>@,;:\\".\[\]]))|"
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abrenecki
Posts: 62
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2007 8:39 am UTC
Location: Mid North SA, Australia

Re: Automatic emails for xkcd

Postby abrenecki » Fri Apr 18, 2008 1:55 am UTC

I don't want to validate full To: headers, just the addresses themselves. Also, I can see /r/n in the regex, which would appear to mean it would validate multiple addresses, which I do not want. Oh, and aargh.


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