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fighting the good fight

Warning, this is a tech post. Ordinarily I try not to write about this too much here (mainly due to the reason no one gives a crap), but I put a lot of work into this so I'm a-gonna write about it.

My forum just underwent a massive overhaul and it took forever to get it done. To those wondering, no there wasn't anything lost, not to worry. And yes it still looks exactly the same as before.

The reason for this overhaul was for two reasons.

1. There was stuff behind the scenes that didn't work.
2. To further fight the good fight against spambots.

It's safe to say I have a heavily modified phpBB setup. Although it doesn't look like it, there's a whole lot of stuff in there I had to add on to make it work like the way I wanted to. But therein lies the problem that the more you add, the tougher it is to manage over time. I had so much beta crap in there it was ridiculous, which led to things that didn't work on the administrative end. But now it's all fixed. I put my forum on a diet, got rid of the crap and made everything work.

The spam thing.. sheezis.. where do I begin. I have had a long hard battle against spambots - and I'm winning, but the ultimate goal is to have zero spambots bust through and I believe I've finally gotten to that point.

You see, spambots (i.e. programs that purposely post comment spam, blog spam, forum spam and so on) aren't like the spam you get in your e-mail, which is simple enough to filter out. These guys are a lot tougher to combat. Some use CAPTCHA which doesn't really work that well (and annoys people). Others use outside comment systems like HaloScan; something I don't agree with because that means comments are hosted outside of your own web site. No thanks.

The trick is to have a system in place that the spambots cannot predict. The system I have in place will do just that. I have several things in place on registration of new accounts that will stop spambots cold. And it works. Very well.

End tech post here. Don't worry, I'll get back to writing about normal stuph soon enough. 🙂

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