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onPHP5.com:
Clickable, Obfuscated Email Addresses
January 25, 2007 @ 08:50:00

Dennis Popel submitted a link to a tutorial over on onPHP5.com that talks about obfuscated email address. Not just any email addresses though - his example keeps them clickable but out of the way of spambots trying to harvest.

Of course you all know that keeping email addresses in plain form in web pages means give them for free to spam bots. [...] This approach, while strong, leaves your pages without very convenient functionality, though. [...] This means that another method, non-image protection of email addresses must be used, which will be able to preserve the benefits of clickable email addresses that, however, are safe from spam bots.

His method revolves around character substitution - swapping out the values in the email addresses with the ASCII codes they correspond to. Of course, this still doesn't solve the usability for humans, it only blocks the automated email harvesters. So, to get things back to where we can use them, he defines a Javascript function that reads the obfuscated email and passes it along to the page as a normal, clickable email link.

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