aligning text gifs

Discussion in 'HTML' started by Roedy Green, May 19, 2004.

  1. Roedy Green

    Roedy Green Guest

    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.
    Roedy Green, May 19, 2004
    #1
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  2. Roedy Green

    Steve Pugh Guest

    Roedy Green <> 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 <> <http://steve.pugh.net/>
    Steve Pugh, May 19, 2004
    #2
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  3. Roedy Green

    jake Guest

    In message <>, Steve Pugh
    <> writes
    >Roedy Green <> 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
    jake, May 19, 2004
    #3
  4. Roedy Green

    Steve Pugh Guest

    jake <> wrote:
    >In message <>, Steve Pugh
    ><> writes
    >>Roedy Green <> 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 <> <http://steve.pugh.net/>
    Steve Pugh, May 19, 2004
    #4
  5. Roedy Green

    Spartanicus Guest

    Steve Pugh <> 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 looks like an email address and "me at privacy
    dot net" does not.

    and "me at privacy dot net" read out by a speaking
    browser sound identical.

    --
    Spartanicus
    Spartanicus, May 19, 2004
    #5
  6. Roedy Green

    Mitja Guest

    Roedy Green <>
    (news:) 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.html#propdef-vertical-align
    Mitja, May 19, 2004
    #6
  7. Roedy Green

    Roedy Green Guest

    On Wed, 19 May 2004 11:23:04 +0100, jake <>
    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.
    Roedy Green, May 19, 2004
    #7
  8. Roedy Green

    Roedy Green Guest

    On Wed, 19 May 2004 12:11:01 +0100, Spartanicus <> wrote
    or quoted :

    >Because 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.
    Roedy Green, May 19, 2004
    #8
  9. Roedy Green

    Spartanicus Guest

    Roedy Green <> wrote:

    >>Because 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
    Spartanicus, May 19, 2004
    #9
  10. Roedy Green

    Roedy Green Guest

    On Wed, 19 May 2004 10:15:57 +0100, Steve Pugh <> 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.
    Roedy Green, May 19, 2004
    #10
  11. Roedy Green

    Mitja Guest

    Spartanicus <>
    (news:)
    wrote:
    > Roedy Green <> wrote:
    >
    >>> Because 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.


    From what I know, they don't do it. From their point of view - why use
    processpr power for such stuff? It's more effective to hit another coupla
    sites and get a bunch of plain-text addresses.

    The way people are (becoming) aware of the situation, though, things may
    change in the future, if the haven't yet.
    Mitja, May 19, 2004
    #11
  12. Roedy Green

    Roedy Green Guest

    On Wed, 19 May 2004 08:54:15 GMT, Roedy Green
    <> wrote or quoted :

    >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.


    You can generate such png files at http://mindprod.com/masker.html

    --
    Canadian Mind Products, Roedy Green.
    Coaching, problem solving, economical contract programming.
    See http://mindprod.com/jgloss/jgloss.html for The Java Glossary.
    Roedy Green, May 20, 2004
    #12
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