You may occasionally need to provide imaginary examples of such things as domain names, email addresses, people's names, or phone numbers.
In many cases, it's better to use placeholder variables, like
email-address, but in
some cases you may want specific examples.
Example domain names
When you need a generic domain name in an example, use example.com, example.org, or example.net.
Example email addresses
When you need a generic email address in an example, use a Gmail address that has a username less than six letters long. Gmail doesn't allow usernames that short, so this approach ensures that you're not accidentally giving a real username. For example, you can use email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you need a generic non-Gmail address, then use one of the domains listed in "Example domain names."
Example person names and activities
When you need examples of people's names and activities, one approach is to just make them up. Another approach is to use famous out-of-copyright fictional characters. If you do the latter, use very famous characters to reduce translation difficulties; for example, some of our documentation uses characters from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice.
Don't use copyrighted fictional characters in examples, and don't use real people. If you can't think of a relevant famous fictional character that's out of copyright, then make up a name.
Take care to include a diverse set of names in your examples, to reflect the diversity of the real world. For instance, consider using female and other names that suggest a variety of backgrounds in engineering-related examples, to avoid implying that only certain groups, such as white or Asian men, have technical skills.
Example phone numbers
When you want to show an example phone number, use a US number in the range (800) 555-0100 through (800) 555-0199. That range is reserved for use in examples and in fiction.
Never use a real phone number in examples.
Example IP addresses
When you need an IP address in an example, such as in a log, use one of the RFC 5737 addresses provided for documentation purposes. These addresses are not used on the Internet. The available addresses include the following:
For address ranges, use the following examples: