Google is not idempotent

Today was my last full day at IBM; I decided to spam thank some close soon-to-be-ex-colleagues before I left. Since I wasn’t sure that those who wanted to respond would do so before my IBM email address expired, I directed replies to an address at a domain that I set up for my family (let’s call it, just to keep the real spammers at bay).

Mail for is MX’ed to Google Apps servers; I’ve set up forwarding there for each of us to our real preferred GMail addresses. This has the advantage of letting me move from GMail if I want to, without anyone being the wiser.

But today, I discovered that Google isn’t consistent in its mail filtering. A friend at work thanked me for sending her the note and mentioned that she’d replied — but I was pretty sure I hadn’t seen her reply. And when I searched the GMail account, there was nothing from her. But when I looked at the mailbox on, her note was there. And, in fact, there were several replies that hadn’t made it to GMail but were safely in the inbox for

So I guess I need to rethink my mail strategy and let mail for stay there instead of forwarding it to GMail.

Life was easier when all my mail went to! (I’d worry about spammers getting that address, except that it’s been visible on the Web and well-spammed for many years, and, of course, it expires tomorrow.)

5 thoughts on “Google is not idempotent

  1. Hmm, is currently owned by a domain squatter. Perhaps there’s a business opportunity there just waiting for you to steal the domain ;-)

  2. I’m confused, is the *.us inbox on GApps for your domain or hosted elsewhere and Gmail is slurping it in over pop?
    I’ve been having problems recently with GMail (not for domain) apparently forgetting to slurp in one account over pop (it’s not an important account, just the one where I get consulting gigs through. Ahem).

  3. The *.us inbox is on GApps for my domain, with “forward all mail to the gmail address and keep a copy” in the GApps/Mail settings forwarding tab. So GApps should be pushing the mail to GMail (and does, for at least 90% of the mail I get). But apparently some small percentage of the mail gets deleted by GMail’s spam filters instead of being delivered (or even put in the spam mail there).


  4. I’ve had different, but similar issues with forwarding email through gmail. The gmail filters seem to overfilter legitimate email. The general email path is: non-spam email -> filters -> email forwarder -> gmail filters -> gmail account. The email is being stopped by the gmail filters for not matching authorized ip address for the domain where the non-spam email originated as the last hop is the address space. Also, the server modifies the email before forwarding and as such the signed email body hash (DKIM) no longer verifies.

    Hope you’re finding many new and exciting things to do now that you have had free time thrust upon you.

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