Got Captcha? Antispam on AjaxPatterns

I’ve been blabbing on about how I’m going to open up the AjaxPatterns wiki for as long as it’s been online (about a year), blah blah, talk is cheap. Anyway, it’s a few steps closer now. The main issue has been protection against spam – some entrepeneurial folks behind numerous proxies have discovered there’s a good niche market among Ajax developers for fake watches and cheap pharmaceuticals, and AjaxPatterns is just the thing for their cunning Long Tail marketing strategy. I wish these measures weren’t necessary, and they certainly won’t be foolproof, but hopefully they’ll let us grow a bunch of useful Ajax content without too much interruption. After The Ajax Experience, I realised how much more there is left to document and how much people want to hear and say.

So these are a few things you’ll see at AjaxPatterns.

  • Captcha – just implemented. Let me know if you have any problems. Unfortunately, it does go against accessibility, but contributors who have difficulty with it could always mail me contributions. Hopefully, mediawiki will incorporate captcha at some point, the kind of project where the resources for a more accessible solution would make sense. Mail me if you want more info on the implementation.
  • Links to book version Implemented, but not live. Each pattern page will link to the corresponding book version (well, a close-to-complete draft). Even if a spammer messes with the pattern description for a short time, there will be a permanent link to the corresponding description in the book.
  • Word/URL BlackList Based on Spam Blacklist. Sorry, no examples involving discount Rolexes.
  • Backup strategy Another measure is frequent snapshots of the whole thing (that’s always been there) .

2 thoughts on Got Captcha? Antispam on AjaxPatterns

  1. Hi Andrew, Good to hear from you :-). Hadn’t come across Ruse. For other wikis I have planned, I will definitely consider it, as antispam is just something mediawiki has never dealt with effectively, cleaning up is a real pain.

    Mediawiki does have one major factor in its favour, which is familiarity. With wikipedia on the way to becoming the 2nd most popular site on the web, people instantly see a site that looks like wikipedia and they know its a wiki, how it works etc. Basically, wikipedia==wiki to most people. To be fair, that doesn’t apply to most people who’d consider updating an Ajax wiki, but it’s still a more comfortable interface which invites changes more easily.

    For AjaxPatterns, it’s probably impractical due to porting issues – it took about 3 weeks to port to Docbook for the book. But thanks for pointing it out, this could be brilliant for other projects.

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