January 27, 2004

One of my little one-shot utilities, MailCoder, seems to have been featured on the UK Sunday Times and I’m suddenly getting e-mails from people asking me how to use MailCoder :p When I wrote the utility, I simply wanted something which would encode e-mail addresses so that spammers couldn’t get at them. Once I’d written it, I thought that somebody would find it useful and so put it up as a download. However, I never thought that it would need any documentation since it was a simple screen with just two buttons on it and so there was no documentation :p

Big mistake – especially when something like The Sunday Times decides to feature it, since I guess everybody wants to give it a try then :p Anyway, here is the standard e-mail that I’ve been sending the people who write to me and ask me how to use it. Hopefully, it helps a few people who might also take a look at the site before writing to me :)

"MailCoder was written for people who want to display their e-mail address on a web page they’ve designed (not sure if it works with web forms and forums or not). You simply plug in your e-mail address into the E-Mail Address field, click the Code button and then click the Copy button to copy the coded address into the clipboard. Now simply switch over to your website’s HTML code and paste the coded e-mail address in. When the web page is browsed using a browser, you will see the address displayed normally. Hope that makes sense."

Update: I went over to the Times web site and it looks as if it was my friend Nigel Powell who wrote the offending article :p He’s got a section on The Sunday Times named "Don’t panic: Nigel Powell answers your home technology queries" and while I can’t get into read the section (the online edition needs a subscription), I think this must have been where MailCoder was mentioned. I’m sure that Nigel didn’t anticipate people not being able to use the app either – or else he probably would have explained the thing in detail :)

Incidentally, while writing this entry, I realized another problem with Blog – somebody mentioned that copying and pasting from websites was broken. Now I see what happens :p The HTMLEdit component takes the pasted entry as HTML and tries to deal with it, HTML tags and all! So it puts in a comment tag at the beginning to say that this is a fragmented entry and that ends up in making the whole pasted bit effectively invisible in the WYSIWYG view. You can still go to the HTML view and take out the comment tag to make the pasted text appear but I think I might have to add a "Paste as text …" option or make pasting as text the default …

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Posted by Fahim at 8:31 am   Comments (0)