[pmwiki-devel] ZAP anti-spammer suggestion & prettifying forms

marc gmane at auxbuss.com
Wed Dec 6 10:19:19 CST 2006

Crisses said...
> One of the many things I want to do, maybe with ZAP, is a simple  
> email contact form, with or without captcha -- probably with -- but  
> with another anti-spam element.  You can hide (css display:none) a  
> text input field such as "Subject: _____ (leave blank!)" that is very  
> tempting for spambots, not seen by the average computer user, and is  
> tested when the form is returned.  If "Subject" is filled out, the  
> form responder is a spambot or someone using a non-css/non-visual  
> means to submit the form.  The Leave blank! caution is for humans.
> Captcha and hidden input elements don't help for the increasing  
> number of spammers who hire live people to fill out forms.  There's  
> not very much we can do about those people.  But if you use multiple  
> methods, such as captcha + hidden fields, it's less likely to work.

A couple of weeks ago I installed an anti-spambot extension on a phpBB 
forum that was being bombarded - it already had captcha and a variety of 
other approaches installed. This new extension employs the "Leave this 
blank" approach. It's been very successful. A neat touch is that it 
sends an email for every failed attempt. From that, it's easy to add the 
spammers' email domains to the banned list, thereby thwarting even the 
by-hand approach.

So, in essence, what you are suggesting seems to be the right approach.. 
at least for now :-|

> So, does ZAP allow me to assign classes to form fields?  I would need  
> to be able to set the CSS on the input element to be hidden, and I'd  
> like to make ZAP forms prettier anyway.
> Prettifying forms:
> Can I use fieldsets?
> Can I control the length or rows/columns in an input field or text area?
> Do you have multiselect boxes?
> I'm just starting to read the ZAP explanation, documentation, etc.  I  
> need to decide whether I'm using ZAP or custom programming features.   
> Has anyone used ZAP and customized the appearance?

I don't use Zap, but you might want to take a look at the mailform 
recipe. It's easy to customise and hacking it into something more to 
your needs is straightforward.


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