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aligning text gifs

 
 
Roedy Green
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      05-19-2004
I wrote a little java program to stomp out png image files the text of
people's email addresses. The idea is spam harvesters will have a
harder time harvesting them automatically off websites.

The catch is they don't line up with the rest of the text.

Is there a way to fix that other than by putting everything in table
cells?

--
Canadian Mind Products, Roedy Green.
Coaching, problem solving, economical contract programming.
See http://mindprod.com/jgloss/jgloss.html for The Java Glossary.
 
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Steve Pugh
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      05-19-2004
Roedy Green <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>I wrote a little java program to stomp out png image files the text of
>people's email addresses. The idea is spam harvesters will have a
>harder time harvesting them automatically off websites.


PNG or GIF? Your subject line says one thing your message says
another.

Anyway, have you thought about users who have image loading turned
off? Blind users? Users who need very large font sizes? None of them
can read your image, so you need to provide the e-mail address in the
alt attribute. But the spam harvesters can read the alt attribute.

And presumably the images aren't links (as spam harvesters can read
the e-mail address out of the mailto: link)? So the user has to type
out the e-mail address in their e-mail application (which they first
have to open beacuse there's no mailto: link to click on to open it
automatically).

So for some users the e-mail address is totally hidden and for others
its extra work to use.

Doesn't a form sound like a better approach?

>The catch is they don't line up with the rest of the text.


URL?

>Is there a way to fix that other than by putting everything in table
>cells?


The align attribute or the CSS vertical-align property. Of course as
the text is of variable size by its very nature and as bitmap images
linke PNG or GIF are of fixed size the text and images will only ever
align under a minority of circumstances.

Steve

--
"My theories appal you, my heresies outrage you,
I never answer letters and you don't like my tie." - The Doctor

Steve Pugh <(E-Mail Removed)> <http://steve.pugh.net/>
 
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jake
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      05-19-2004
In message <(E-Mail Removed)>, Steve Pugh
<(E-Mail Removed)> writes
>Roedy Green <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
>>I wrote a little java program to stomp out png image files the text of
>>people's email addresses. The idea is spam harvesters will have a
>>harder time harvesting them automatically off websites.

>
>PNG or GIF? Your subject line says one thing your message says
>another.
>
>Anyway, have you thought about users who have image loading turned
>off? Blind users? Users who need very large font sizes? None of them
>can read your image, so you need to provide the e-mail address in the
>alt attribute. But the spam harvesters can read the alt attribute.


Except that you can 'spell out' the content of the email address in the
alternative text; the sight impaired will hear it, but I doubt that the
email address harvesters can figure it our

e.g.

alt="civic offices at A O L dot com"

Not ideal, but probably works OK if there's just the odd address on the
page/site. It depends on how desperate you are to reduce the amount of
spamming to a given address.

A form's better, but not always a possibility.
>
>And presumably the images aren't links (as spam harvesters can read
>the e-mail address out of the mailto: link)? So the user has to type
>out the e-mail address in their e-mail application (which they first
>have to open beacuse there's no mailto: link to click on to open it
>automatically).
>
>So for some users the e-mail address is totally hidden and for others
>its extra work to use.
>
>Doesn't a form sound like a better approach?
>
>>The catch is they don't line up with the rest of the text.

>
>URL?
>
>>Is there a way to fix that other than by putting everything in table
>>cells?

>
>The align attribute or the CSS vertical-align property. Of course as
>the text is of variable size by its very nature and as bitmap images
>linke PNG or GIF are of fixed size the text and images will only ever
>align under a minority of circumstances.
>
> Steve
>


--
Jake
 
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Steve Pugh
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      05-19-2004
jake <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>In message <(E-Mail Removed)>, Steve Pugh
><(E-Mail Removed)> writes
>>Roedy Green <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>>
>>>I wrote a little java program to stomp out png image files the text of
>>>people's email addresses. The idea is spam harvesters will have a
>>>harder time harvesting them automatically off websites.

>>
>>Anyway, have you thought about users who have image loading turned
>>off? Blind users? Users who need very large font sizes? None of them
>>can read your image, so you need to provide the e-mail address in the
>>alt attribute. But the spam harvesters can read the alt attribute.

>
>Except that you can 'spell out' the content of the email address in the
>alternative text; the sight impaired will hear it, but I doubt that the
>email address harvesters can figure it our
>
>alt="civic offices at A O L dot com"


If someone is going to do that then why don't they just spell it out
in text and skip the image?

Steve

--
"My theories appal you, my heresies outrage you,
I never answer letters and you don't like my tie." - The Doctor

Steve Pugh <(E-Mail Removed)> <http://steve.pugh.net/>
 
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Spartanicus
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Posts: n/a
 
      05-19-2004
Steve Pugh <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>>Except that you can 'spell out' the content of the email address in the
>>alternative text; the sight impaired will hear it, but I doubt that the
>>email address harvesters can figure it our
>>
>>alt="civic offices at A O L dot com"

>
>If someone is going to do that then why don't they just spell it out
>in text and skip the image?


Because http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed) looks like an email address and "me at privacy
dot net" does not.

(E-Mail Removed) and "me at privacy dot net" read out by a speaking
browser sound identical.

--
Spartanicus
 
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Mitja
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Posts: n/a
 
      05-19-2004
Roedy Green <(E-Mail Removed)>
(news:(E-Mail Removed)) wrote:
> I wrote a little java program to stomp out png image files the text of
> people's email addresses. The idea is spam harvesters will have a
> harder time harvesting them automatically off websites.
>
> The catch is they don't line up with the rest of the text.
>
> Is there a way to fix that other than by putting everything in table
> cells?


Sure, CSS. See
http://www.w3.org/TR/CSS21/visudet.h...vertical-align



 
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Roedy Green
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      05-19-2004
On Wed, 19 May 2004 11:23:04 +0100, jake <(E-Mail Removed)>
wrote or quoted :

>A form's better, but not always a possibility.


This requires a Servlet and custom code on the server. Most people
don't have access to that.

Forms have the disadvantage of not letting you compose with your
normal email software and keep a copy there.


If they are too nosy, then people will avoid them.

--
Canadian Mind Products, Roedy Green.
Coaching, problem solving, economical contract programming.
See http://mindprod.com/jgloss/jgloss.html for The Java Glossary.
 
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Roedy Green
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      05-19-2004
On Wed, 19 May 2004 12:11:01 +0100, Spartanicus <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote
or quoted :

>Because (E-Mail Removed) looks like an email address and "me at privacy
>dot net" does not.


It would not be hard for a spam harvester to reconstruct the address
by changing all instances of " at " to @ and " dot " to "." etc.

He does not have to hit 100% accuracy. If he hits even 10% he is
still ahead.

--
Canadian Mind Products, Roedy Green.
Coaching, problem solving, economical contract programming.
See http://mindprod.com/jgloss/jgloss.html for The Java Glossary.
 
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Spartanicus
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      05-19-2004
Roedy Green <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>>Because (E-Mail Removed) looks like an email address and "me at privacy
>>dot net" does not.

>
>It would not be hard for a spam harvester to reconstruct the address
>by changing all instances of " at " to @ and " dot " to "." etc.


Nor would it be hard to decode character references, or read javascript
document.write's, reading an email address from an image is also quite
doable

The point is that I've seen no evidence that spam harvesters do any of
these things.

--
Spartanicus
 
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Roedy Green
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      05-19-2004
On Wed, 19 May 2004 10:15:57 +0100, Steve Pugh <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote
or quoted :

>PNG or GIF? Your subject line says one thing your message says
>another.


It started out as gif, then I discovered Sun Java does actually
support generating gifs, just pngs and jpgs.
--
Canadian Mind Products, Roedy Green.
Coaching, problem solving, economical contract programming.
See http://mindprod.com/jgloss/jgloss.html for The Java Glossary.
 
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