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RE: Hiding email addresses in an accessible way

From: Scarlett Julian (ED) <Julian.Scarlett@sheffield.gov.uk>
Date: Mon, 18 Aug 2003 15:38:21 +0100
Message-ID: <F9BE3B1AB649D311A573009027852E4D02879AB5@EDUC_MXS>
To: "'wai-ig list'" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

One question: why use the abbr for "@" and "." ? Surely they are not abbreviations. 

Also, any idea why encoding part of the mailto: works the way that you have done it (m&#97;ilto:) and not by using m%6Dilto: ?


		-----Original Message-----
		From:	Owen [mailto:owenrodda@optusnet.com.au]
		Sent:	18 August 2003 15:04
		To:	'wai-ig list'
		Cc:	'Scarlett Julian (ED)'
		Subject:	RE: Hiding email addresses in an accessible way

		I personally take the entity-encoded example a step further and
		URL-encode parts of the email link as well. An example:

		<a href="m&#97;ilto:username&#37;40hostname&#37;2ecom">username<abbr
		title=" at ">@</abbr>hostname<abbr title=" dot ">.</abbr>com</a>

		I have no idea how "smart" email harvesters are these days, but it
		probably isn't worth the effort for them to decode this kind of address
		considering how many plain-text emails are available.  Note that there's
		nothing special involved - if the email harvesting script is attached to
		any browser, it would have no problems reading that.

		This solution works with no apparent side-effects in the browsers I've
		tested.  It foils simple searches for mailto: or username@hostname.com
		without changing the link's appearance.

		Further protection can be provided by substituting an image for any
		characters in the displayed email address, usually either the '@' symbol
		or the entire address.  That's not as accessible, of course.

		Any suggestions, questions or improvements are welcome.

		Owen Rodda
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Received on Monday, 18 August 2003 10:31:13 UTC

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