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Thread: no more mailto?

  1. #1
    5 Star Lounger jujuraf's Avatar
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    no more mailto?

    Hi all,
    I've read several places that say that we shouldn't use mailto: anymore when creating a clickable link to automatically pop-up the user's email program with a pre-populated address. I thought the things I read said it no longer works in new browsers (it works in IE6 though) or is soon to be unsupported or .... ??

    Has anyone else heard of this (or am I <img src=/S/nuts.gif border=0 alt=nuts width=15 height=15>)? Are there alternative ways to do the same thing?

    Thnx,
    Deb

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    Silver Lounger
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    Re: no more mailto?

    I've never heard or read anything like that. I just tested an email link with the newest version of FireFox and it worked just fine.

    Issues with mailto links are this:
    1) The user must have a default email client application (such as Outlook, Outlook Express, or Thunderbird) to provide the email capabilities
    2) Many automated spam applications can harvest email addresses from websites if the link is not "obscured"
    3) Because of #2, above, many websites use a web form for contact purposes rather than sharing an email address

    Note: You can obscure an email address by replacing some or all of the characters with their ASCII symbol equivalent. Such as Test@Test.com = Test@test.com.
    Some of the "less-smart" spam applications will not detect the email addresses like this (since they're looking for @ and .com).

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    5 Star Lounger jujuraf's Avatar
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    Re: no more mailto?

    Hmmm, weird, must be brain sludge setting in but I could swear I read a few articles on the demise of mailto:

    If I see it again I'll drop a line here. I'll look up various obfuscate tricks though. Thanks for the info.

    Deb <img src=/S/newbrain.gif border=0 alt=newbrain width=21 height=22>

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    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: no more mailto?

    For what this is worth, my version of Mark's suggestion on one of my web pages where I have an email link of mailto:webmonkeyDUMMY@alhoffman.org looks like the graphic in the attachment. I guess there are lots of ways to do it.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Re: no more mailto?

    I just wanted to add a couple of supporting items to Mark's <img src=/S/thumbup.gif border=0 alt=thumbup width=15 height=15> suggestion. I also obscure <img src=/S/hiding.gif border=0 alt=hiding width=70 height=24> my "mailto:" entries on the various web pages that I support/assist on. Here are my suggestions:

    1.) As Mark stated, one of the easiest way (if you are not into coding) to obscure your "mailto:" postings on your web pages is to convert the mailto tag to HTML character codes (as Mark suggested).

    For example, the following mailto tag, I'm not here would convert to I'm not here

    Note, you need to include the "&#" symbols in front of each number set without the quotes"".

    A good listing of HTML character codes can be found at http://www.w3.org/MarkUp/html-spec/html-spec_13.html.

    2.) The entire mailto portion of the <a href> tag can be generated "automatically" via scripting. For example:

    <a href="<%
    dim mtag
    dim lengthofmtag
    mtag = "mailto:hideme@from.com"
    for lengthofmtag = 1 to len(mtag)
    response.write( "&#" & asc(mid(mtag,lengthofmtag,1))&";")
    next
    %>" >He he he</a>

    3.) Another way is to generate the entire <a href> tag via scripting:

    <script language="Javascript">

    name = "hideme"
    server = "from.com"
    document.write("<font face='Courier' size=-1>");
    document.write("<a href='mailto:" + name + "@" + server + "'>");
    document.write("<font color='ff0000'>");
    document.write(name + "@" + server);
    document.write("</a>");
    document.write("</font>");

    </script>

    Note, please remember to include the html comment tags around the body of the above script.

    I hope this helps. I noticed that, once I converted to these methods, the amount of spam I and others received from our websites dropped off dramatically.

    Mickey
    <font face="Comic Sans MS">MickeyMouse</font face=comic>
    How best to describe the Lounge-
    "Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, working together is success"

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    Re: no more mailto?

    If you use the script tag, I also suggest you use the noscript tag, for extra safe types who have turned off script, or are using an older browser or are using a screen reader. Here's an example:
    <pre>
    <script>
    ...
    </script>
    <noscript>
    me(a-t)domain name(d-o-t)co m(dot)a-u

    (This email address has been scrambled to stop
    address harvesters. You need to remove all the
    dashes and spaces, and change the things in brackets accordingly.
    Alternatively, use our feedback form below.)

    </noscript>
    </pre>



    Newer browsers won't show this code at all. Works a treat.
    Peter

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    Re: no more mailto?

    One of the Woody's subscriptions had an elaborate way of obfuscating a mailto. It included having a graphic of the mailto, so it looked completely normal. Behind it was some trick. It worked exacltly like a normal mailto to the user. Unfortunately, I don't remember which of the subscriptions had it, and I think it was at least a year ago, so I don't know how to find it (mailto matches *everything*!)

    Can anyone point to me (or quote) the mailto trick that was published?

    Thanks!

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