[Mailman-Developers] Interesting study -- spam on postedaddresses...

Damien Morton dm-temp-310102@nyc.rr.com
Thu, 21 Feb 2002 10:27:08 -0500

> From: Nigel Metheringham 
> > > From: Dale Newfield [mailto:dale@newfield.org]
> > > It only works with graphical browsers.
> > 
> > This is true. We are in the 21st century now. Expecting a graphical 
> > client isnt such a huge leap of faith, unless we allow 
> ourselves to be 
> > guided by recidivist or luddite lynx users and their ilk.
> You haven't been following this, have you...

I have actually, although I do admit I probably stepped over the line

> Chuq Vos Rospach wrote yesterday in response to Dale's point:-
> > This is a very good point. I mentioned ADA compliance 
> yesterday. To be 
> > ADA compliant, if you rendered the e-mail address as a 
> graphic, you'd 
> > also have to put the text into the ALT tag. Which would 
> enable it for 
> > lynx and sight-limited solutions -- and make putting into a graphic 
> > kinda meaningless. So you can't use this approach unless 
> you want to 
> > ignore the ADA and lock out your blind users from those functions.

Chuq, you wouldn't have to do this if it rendered the purpose of
emails-as-jpegs invalid.

<img src="emails/1234.jpg" alt="email address obscured for security
purposes, please log-in">

> > I'm not willing to make that tradeoff. While I'm not going 
> to live or 
> > die on the ADA compliance issue, I think it's important to 
> keep it in 
> > mind because it forces us to focus on more than the "easy" 
> case or the 
> > "geek" case and worry about solutions that work across the 
> spectrum of 
> > users, from the AOL newbie to Jay. We can't solve problems just for 
> > Jay, or just for Newbies, we have to find a solution that works as 
> > well as possible for as many of those groups as possible. ADA 
> > compliance is a useful strawman that keeps us focussed away from "I 
> > want it this way, so that's the right way".
> plus enforcing a minimum browser standard (other than minimal 
> text/html) is going to hit deep water with the various PDAs, 
> phones, WAP and other stuff that almost has real browsers on.

I have been proposing the use of advanced browser standards for the
'public' archives, i.e. those archives that are accessible to the world,
be it users, email harvesters, or the spiders of search engines. Making
a private archive available to those who are list members or who are
willing to authenticate themselves as human, and making the private
archive plain unobfuscated text should mean that everyone is at least
able to get what they need, if only after jumping through some hoops.

Those hoops could be a visual test, an audio test, or a list membership
test (which depends on having provided a valid email address).

Further, the public archive would differ from the private archive only
by the obfuscation of email addresses. That would be the only

I wonder if the ADA would accept the need to obscure email addresses,
and I wonder if they would accept the extra authentication step required
to get at the unobscured email address? Would they understand that it
protects all mailman users, including the disabled?

Would Lynx users and other browser-disadvantaged users accept the extra
authentication/authorisation step to get at the unobscured email
addresses? Would they understand that it protects _them_ as well?
> And insulting lynx users isn't a way to increase your 
> expected life span.  Go do something less controversial like 
> arguing the advantages of vi in the emacs news groups. 

Agreed, appologies to recidivists, luddites and lynx users :)