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February 4, 2006 12:03 AM

Broken: Acela domain redirection

Acela_1Michael McWatters points out:

If you go to, you arrive at this friendly but useless page. The user is required to enter ‘www’ in the url field of their browser even though a simple redirect on this page would have done the same thing.

Not necessarily broken, but definitely not convenient. This also may be costing the train company bookings.


haha wonder who wrote the welcoming message.

Posted by: gmangw at February 4, 2006 12:40 AM

When I enter the www, it takes me to amtrack...

Posted by: Cole Passannante at February 4, 2006 01:29 AM

Its probably a SSI perl script, hello world is the first program ANY programmer learns

Posted by: Mike at February 4, 2006 01:54 AM

WWW is incredibly useless and pointless...until we get around to abolishing it altogether, though, just type in "acela" and hit ctrl-enter. If you're using Mozilla (and why not?) or Internet Explorer (why, dear lord?), it'll automatically add the www. and the .com for you.

Posted by: =David at February 4, 2006 03:22 AM

perhaps, someone owns the domain and the domain. I've gone to two absolutely different pages for just not putting in the www. Some sites dont have a www in their address.

Posted by: Dragon at February 4, 2006 08:27 AM

bleh, took the time to click the link, tab says amtrack at the one and acela is for amtrack...

Posted by: Dragon at February 4, 2006 09:30 AM

Isn't the IANA going to start requiring no "www"?

Posted by: Maurs at February 4, 2006 10:38 AM

doesn't http:// imply that it is a webpage as opposed to an ftp protocol? "www." is useless. altough i have seen companies use "www." for public webpages and skip the "www." for a private extranet for their employees.

Posted by: Confused Shopper at February 4, 2006 11:06 AM

The same happened to Vodafone (yes, the huge mobile network operator) in the Czech Republic a couple of days ago. After buying and rebranding one of the local operators, worked fine right from the start, but did not. Now it's already corrected, but for a couple of days, you had to type www.

Posted by: pinus at February 4, 2006 12:06 PM

Definitely broken. The domain with and without "www" needs to be registered to point to the same server. Generally hosting providers will do this for you but if you're hosting a site on your own server, you need to be smart enough to know to set this up in your server's settings file.

BTW, not all sites start with "www" (i.e. so Browser that automatically adds www to a domain name would cause huge problems.

Posted by: david at February 4, 2006 12:28 PM

Didn't we have this whole discussion a couple of months ago?

Posted by: deja vu at February 4, 2006 01:05 PM

Maurs, I think you're referring to this article on BBspot, which is a joke:

ICANN to Ban Use of "WWW"

Posted by: Lomedhi at February 4, 2006 03:23 PM

Wow! Someone still has a bit of humor!

Posted by: NiCK at February 4, 2006 05:53 PM

I sent this to TIB months ago, and forgot about it. When I saw it posted here, I thought, "Wow, they still haven't fixed it." It's such a simple correction, you'd think a company that makes its money from reservations would want to fix it.

So, I sent the link to someone I know who's not particularly Web savvy, but still a user of sites like this. She clicked on the link in my email, and said, "hmmm, their site is down," without my prompting. It never occurred to her to enter 'www'. Definitely still broken.

Posted by: Michael McWatters at February 4, 2006 07:06 PM

For some reason, if you type "" you'll get a "Server not found error"

Posted by: Command at February 4, 2006 07:39 PM

If they can't direct you in webland, would it be safe to say you shouldn't use them for real-life travel either??

Posted by: Poindexter T Quakenfuss at February 4, 2006 08:04 PM

Well, I at least know that the Hello, World thingamajiggerydoodah is a common thing for the very first program in a certain language... um... It's a teaching tool of some sort. I think. In fact, I'll do it in Python, the only non-LOGO or BASIC language simple enough for me to comprehend.

print "Hello, World!"

I can program!

Posted by: nick'd at February 4, 2006 09:26 PM

Edit: It's ''usually'' (yes, I know Wiki formatting doesn't work here) Hello, World! But this site seems to say just:

Hello world.

But still, I can program! And check this out:

print "Haldo, World!"

Tada! Instant Peasant's Quest references!

Posted by: nickd at February 4, 2006 09:29 PM

OK, I forgot to check the remember personal info box, but just so you know, that comment was by nick'd, not nickd. Actually, regard us as the same person.

Posted by: nick'd at February 4, 2006 09:31 PM

"Actually, regard us as the same person."

^^ classic

Posted by: Entropy at February 4, 2006 11:04 PM

Well, was there any other way to say it?

Posted by: nick'd, also known as nickd at February 5, 2006 11:35 AM

"Actually, regard us as the same person."

Schizophrenia on the TIB comment board. It was bound to happen.

Posted by: =David at February 5, 2006 08:28 PM

Hello World in any language you like:

Posted by: Dan at February 6, 2006 06:44 AM

The "www" prefix is a holdover from the days of the Internet before the widespread use of the web. It was a convention from the days when the servers being used on the Internet were often limited resources and possibly devoted to doing only one thing, and with no generally available directory or search service available. One could then guess the name of the FTP server for an organisation by prepending "FTP", or the gopher server by prepending "gopher" etc.

In today's Internet, with web portion is ubiquitous and dominant to the point where people beleive that the web and the Internet are the same thing.

So yes, not having the redirect in place for people who don't type "www" is broken.

Posted by: Carlos Gomez at February 6, 2006 07:50 AM

It's so easy to configure the server "" to accept "" (or vice-versa) I'm always amazed at the laziness shown when nobody bothers to do that.

Regarding dropping the "www." part: A name identifies a server. If company has several servers on the internet dedicated to different purposes, then they must have seperate names, e.g. "", "", etc. Nowadays servers often perform a couple of those jobs, but it still makes a lot of sense to use seperate names for the different jobs. This lets you move one of those jobs to a different physical machine, and reconfigure the servers, rather than forcing all your users to learn new names (which would be quite broken).

Posted by: Reed at February 6, 2006 12:50 PM

=David: As I said, was there any other way to say it? I just forgot the apostrophe, OK? Sheesh.

Posted by: nick'd, or nickd at February 6, 2006 07:44 PM

=David: As I said, was there any other way to say it? I just forgot the apostrophe, OK? Sheesh.

Posted by: nick'd, or nickd at February 6, 2006 07:44 PM

Dragon-- not sure if I understand you; if someone owns the domain then they own all the possible subdomains (such as,,, etc).

They can, of course, redirect (or serve) those subdomains however they choose-- so yes, can be different from I believe that IE and Mozilla will try what you actually typed first, then guess at common things you might have meant-- you can often leave off the '.com' too, and the '' (perhaps this just on localized versions?)

Posted by: Simon Trew at February 8, 2006 06:10 PM

may be some hacker collecting your ip address. look out for 'helo world,' also

Posted by: user name at February 8, 2006 07:12 PM

I think is even better(Accounting software site.. they just merged with Deltek) gets you to correct site, but gets you to

"Did you want

Temperatures in Server Room as of Fri Mar 18 14:34:01 MST 2005

AC Temp :


BattStat "

besides the point that there are not temperatures and the date is almost a year ago being broken, if they wanted a way to check server room temperatures remotely there are other ways..

Posted by: Infinity306 at February 8, 2006 08:19 PM

suer ixxvwvicja

Posted by: Helegor at March 3, 2006 05:03 AM


Posted by: at April 21, 2006 06:37 PM

A lot of suffer from a similar problem: you have to enter the "www" or else you get a blank page.

Opera adds the ".com" automatically, but not the "www" as far as I can tell...

Posted by: Richard at May 3, 2006 05:25 PM


Posted by: Ducky at May 30, 2006 01:06 AM

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