February 24, 2005

Backtracking on those trackbacks …

No sooner had I converted my site over to use WP 1.5 (after making the earlier entry about planning to do so), I got hit by one of those bits of new trackback spam – ugh! My first reaction was that perhaps the new trackback and pingback blacklisting features that I’d added to WPBlacklist weren’t working anymore due to some change in WP 1.5 (I had actually done the work before WP 1.5 was released …). I had almost gotten my development stuff ready to debug the code when I thought to go back and check on the trackback spam I’d received. Turned out that they’d come up with yet another variation on "texas holdem" – in their case, it was texas hold’em -. My initial reaction was to simply add an entry to the blacklist for the new variation and go on but then I decided to check how many entries I had in the blacklist for just the word texas and I was amazed to discover that I had over 300 entries! So I decided to come up with a regular expression which would catch all variations of texas holdem and after a little mucking around, the final masterpiece was "texas.*?hold.*?em" :p

Of course, the above may identify some benign stuff as spam as well but for the moment, I don’t care – I will deal with it when it happens :p (Oh if anybody is going to comment on this entry, you’d better not use the words texas holdem :p) I then set about deleting all the individual blacklist items which would be replaced by the regular expression and discovered that I could remove 316 items! Of course, I don’t know how many (probably all) would come back when I next update from Jay Allen’s central list but for the moment, I am happy the way things are :-) And the icing on the cake was just as I got done deleting all those 316 items, a new e-mail comes in saying that a comment was automatically deleted by WPBlacklist. The offender? The self-same guy with that new variation on the dreaded texas poker theme – gotcha sucker!! :p If anybody is eagerly awaiting the new WPBlacklist, I am happy enough with the way it is working at the moment (and what better way to test than in a production environment? :p) and so just have to make the necessary documentation changes, pack it all up, update the WPBlacklist page and then upload it. I promise that I’ll do that sometime tonight :)

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Tags: Coding, Site, WordPress
Posted by Fahim at 4:26 pm   Comments (7)