Saturday, November 04, 2006

Why can't we just kill them?

What will I be doing on my computer today? Will I be improving CanalplanAC? Will I be writing stuff to help the campaign to save the waterways? No, I'll be doing yet more anti-spammer stuff.

There are clearly programs out there that run down through sites, find forms like the canalplan main input page, scan the page code, extract the fields, construct fake inputs for all the fields, and then push them back to the server.

So everyone who uses CanalplanAC gets slower response just because of the server load. If it was hosted on a pay-per-byte channel I'd be paying for the bandwidth. And I'm now having to add code to stop these malformed inputs breaking the code (safely - it thinks there is a bug elsewhere (as nothing could ever really) look like this and reports it to me). This adds more code, which slows down the whole thing slightly, adds a small processing load everytime it's run, adds more new code which is always prone to have bugs in it, and most importantly it's making me spend time effort and ingenuity on the program that no-one gets anything in return for.

It's Bonfire night tomorrow - perhaps we need to make it annual "burn a spammer" day,

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