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Louis Kessler's Behold Blog » Blog Entry           prev Prev   Next next

Obfuscate - Mon, 16 Nov 2009

“Obfuscate”. I love that word. It sounds like you’re swearing when you say it.

The exporting has been going pretty well. Then I saw that the last alpha did not make URL’s or e-mail addresses work when exported to HTML for the web. So it wasn’t too hard to program those in.

What immediately became apparent to me is that if Behold’s HTML is then put up on the web, the email addresses are ready for harvesting by spam bots. Not nice, and not a thing that I’d like Behold to be responsible for.

Currently on all my web sites, I show my email address and allow a click on it to bring up your mail program seeded with my address. Try it with the email link at the bottom of this page.

Secretly, I use the javascript language to obfuscate (or hide) my actual email address from those automated spam harvesters, none of which know javascript. You can’t tell, because the email shown and passed to your email program looks fine. That’s because your browser processes the javascript for you. But those bots are not browsers and don’t get it. I have posted my email address on the web for years this way, and I get fewer than 10 spam a day compared to about 50 good emails. And I’ve used MailWasher (a great program) for longer than I can remember to check through my spam .

Unfortunately, the way Richview develops its email links, I can’t incorporate the Javascript code into Behold’s output. Instead I used a combination of URL character encoding and Hex encoding, which isn’t perfect, but should stop 95% of the spam bots.

So if you are a person that will be exporting Behold’s html output to put it on the web, I’m trying to be responsible to protect you as best as I can.

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