[uf-discuss] hCard and encoded e-mail addresses

Ryan King ryan at technorati.com
Thu Jun 22 17:29:23 PDT 2006

On Jun 22, 2006, at 5:20 PM, Paul Lloyd wrote:

> Hi all,
> I have a question/concern (and one that Tantek flagged up during  
> his presentation at @media last week) with regards to e-mail  
> addresses, and the fact that publishing them on the web can open  
> them up to abuse.
> Currently, I display my e-mail address on my personal site (http:// 
> www.lloydyweb.com/) by means of using name(at)domain.com notation,  
> and then having a little piece of javascript that finds all <span>s  
> with a class 'email' and converts them into the correct link. So:
> <span class="email">paul.lloyd(at)fourtwo.net</span>

This is fine as hCard. I'm not sure if vCard consumers will like it,  
though, if it doesn't get cleaned up.

> becomes:
> <a class="email"  
> href="mailto:paul.lloyd at fourtwo.net">paul.lloyd at fourtwo.net</a>

The a at href with a mailto: URI is optional, the above markup works fine.

> Looking at other methods of encoding an e-mail address, I have seen  
> some sites where they encode the characters (including the mailto:):
> #46;&#99;&#111;&#46;&#117;&#107;.... etc
> Would this method also not be allowed in the hCard spec?

No, this is allowed. Any HTML or XHTML parser would have to be able  
to resolved these entities.

> So my question is has anyone thought of ways to get around this  
> problem?  One solution would be to perhaps define a standard  
> notation (such as name(at)example.com) and then parsers such as  
> feeds.technorati.com/contacts/ could convert this into the correct  
> format before saving out as a vCard?  But then again, maybe not!

Of course, the spammers can use the same standard notation.


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