[thelist] mailto links & Outlook subjects

Brooking, John John.Brooking at sappi.com
Tue Dec 21 07:33:44 CST 2004

Jono wrote:
> I have changed direction with the email links I originally asked
> ...
> This technique is supposed to slip past Harvesters.  I am not sure how

> true that is, but it is way better than mailto:.  It does rely on 
> Javascript, but in my situation the client did not even want their 
> email address linked (to avoid SPAM bots/harvesters) so with
> ...
> I think I could add something like:
> <noscript><p>name at domain.com</p></noscript> after the 
> <script>...</script>, but from what I understand, harvesters will see 
> the "@" and suck the address up, even though it is plain text.  Any 
> input on this new direction would be appreciated.

My humble opinion is that trying to outsmart harvesters by hiding,
splitting up, or otherwise garbling your client-side email address is
only continuing the arms race, because harvesters will only continue to
evolve in response to our attempts to hide from them. Last spring I made
up a contact form and companion email script which enables me to keep
the target email addresses completely server-side. The contact form uses
either a hidden field or (if you want to enable a variety of targets) a
drop-down to specify a key to the server script to tell it which email
address to send to. You can use JavaScript, if you want, to pre-populate
the contact form with the email name and subject. So instead of using
"mailto:me at there.com?subject=Hello", you can call your contact form with
a similar syntax: "contact.html?to=me&subject=Hello". Of course you
should allow for users not using JavaScript as well. The server script
is written in Perl, and uses the Mime::Lite module for sending mail. You
can read all about it at http://www.pobox.com/~JohnBrook/codelib/

- John

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