I did my good deed of the Holiday Season December 16, 2005
I reported a bug to Google the other day regarding Gmail. It was to do with their new "Contact Groups" feature that I have been waiting for since forever. Now that it's there, I was a bit surprised when I couldn't create a new group, considering the normally above par standards that Google upholds. This was a simple bug, but, obviously it shows the extensiveness of Google's testing practices, at least for this feature.
What happened was, I went to create a new group, and it couldn't read the email addresses after I used the neat drop down list that Google has on their pages that suggest what you are trying to type in, and make it easier for you. When you choose an email address that you would like in your group, say "Wootzor von Leetenhaxor", it drops in the name in the format "Wootzor von Leetenhaxor" <firstname.lastname@example.org>. Don't ask. However, to easier find the people in my list of contacts, I've stored them as "von Leetenhaxor, Wootzor". (HAHA That name cracks me up, I just thought of it the other day. It's my handle on Slashdot) The problem lies in the way that Gmail expects contacts to be in the list that will be added to the group. When more than one contact is added (hence, a group), it uses commas to separate them. So, I would have commas in my names (yet, inside quotes), and separating contacts. And apparently Google didn't expect this. Which is why I said it leads me to believe that their testing practices are not as extensive as I would have thought. Maybe they just missed this one... hopefully.
Today, I tried to add these contacts again to my "Drinking Buddies" group, and it still failed. To get it to work, I have to delete the names from the "Last, First <email>", or just delete the commas, from each contact in the list before creating the group. I still have commas in the names in my contact list, I just had to actually delete them from the textbox containing the contacts to add to that group. So, if you come across this, just erase the commas from that textbox. It shouldn't be much of a problem, they are fixing it, as they say in this email to me:
Thanks for bringing this issue to our attention. We have forwarded the information you provided to the appropriate team for further investigation. We appreciate your patience, and we apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.
The Gmail Team