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Anti-spam
So far, so good (9 posts)

5 stars
  1. tomdkat
    Member
    Posted 11 months ago #

    This morning, I deleted 100 spam messages waiting to be moderated that had accumulated over night. My blog had been getting hit with spam every few minutes until I installed the "Anti-spam" plugin. After installing this plugin, no spam has been encountered thus far and it's been a full hour since installing it. I was able to post two test comments, from different computers using different ISPs, and the test comments came through just fine.

    Zero configuration needed
    Zero management needed (so far)
    Completely effective (so far)

    This plugin is great and I would recommend at least giving it a try.

    It would be nice to add an optional reporting feature to get an idea of how much spam is being "fought" by this plugin. However, if you _want_ an anti-spam solution you won't have to deal with or manage, this just might be the plugin for you!

  2. webvitaly
    Member
    Plugin Author

    Posted 11 months ago #

    Thank you very much for great feedback and for your recommendations.

    I did not make options (or counter or any other info about spam) for the plugin because of idea to 'forget about spam completely'.
    But if you want to see how many spam was rejected - you may enable 'send spam comments to admin email' option. And also you may set email filter in your email client and you will see the amount of spam being blocked.

    Having 'no options' for a plugin is a feature and not a disadvantage. If each plugin will have options page - than WordPress admin section will explode. :)

  3. tomdkat
    Member
    Posted 11 months ago #

    I understand the point of the plugin but not having ANY feedback at all doesn't provide a way to confirm the plugin is actually working. For example, on another blog I maintain, I had a similar spam issue. I wasn't getting as many as on the blog in which I installed "anti-spam" but I was getting spam. Then, it stopped. Since I didn't change anything to WordPress, it's obvious they spammers stopped trying to spam my blog, for whatever reason. However, if I had installed anti-spam, I wouldn't know if the lack of spam was due to the plugin or to it not being posted to it.

    I'm not asking that you change THIS plugin, I'm only saying it would be nice to have some kind of basic OPTIONAL reporting capability to give you some sense as to how much spam is actually being blocked. Ironically, I didn't install this plugin because of the "forget about spam completely" aspect. This plugin was on a short list of plugins to try and it seemed to work well, which is why I reviewed it.

    As for a plugin not having options as being a "feature", I'm not sure I agree with that since there will ALWAYS be an aspect of the plugin that any given user will want to control, like the "send spam comments to admin email" option you mention above. Having to modify PHP code isn't very "user friendly". :)

    In any event, I'm NOT complaining and I stand by my original review and my 5-star rating. Great job! :)

    Peace...

  4. webvitaly
    Member
    Plugin Author

    Posted 11 months ago #

    "not having ANY feedback at all doesn't provide a way to confirm the plugin is actually working"

    If you are not getting spam anymore - it means that Anti-spam plugin is working :)

    It is impossible to fit everyone.
    So I just decided to fit myself only and share the results with everyone :)
    Anti-spam plugin is my vision of 'simple Anti-spam solution'.

    'Adding one more option to the plugin to make it better' is a trap of making option-monster which will be not usable and harder to maintain. Somebody would love to see how many spam messages were blocked last friday, another would love to see the chart for previous month and at the end we will get Frankenstein :)

    For now 150 lines of code do their job pretty good. Anti-spam plugin is light and it is easy to change the plugin's logic if spamming methods will be changed.

    Yes, I know that modifying the code is less user-friendly. But users have the option to change some Anti-spam config. Users will use it very rarely so there is no need to show this options each time user visits admin-section.

  5. tomdkat
    Member
    Posted 11 months ago #

    As I described above, my other blog hasn't received any spam either because they haven't been posting any. I haven't received any spam on the blog in which I installed anti-spam. Is it because the plugin's working? Probably. How do I know that? I really don't. For all I know, after installing the plugin they might have suspended their spamming efforts. So, I can *think* it's working but I really have no way of confirming it, other than deactivating the plugin and see if the spam comes back. Lack of feedback isn't always a good thing.

    I'm not saying you need to add many options and I'm not saying the plugin "needs" to be configurable in every way imaginable. I'm saying not providing _any_ feedback and not providing _any_ way of getting feedback to even confirm the plugin is working isn't necessarily a "good" thing. That might be "by design", as it is in this case, but that's a different argument than it being a "feature" or not. :)

    I mean how does anyone really know any piece of software is actually working? They get feedback from it. :) How do you know a web page is loading? You see the feedback reported in the browser, and so on.

    Here's the thing: even if I was "lobbying" for the addition of basic reporting capability, that wouldn't be heading toward an "options monster". I mean the plugin is simple enough in function and intention, there's not really much to control in terms of its _current_ functionality. Take the "simple login log" plugin as an example. It's goal in life is to log login attempts. It's got 2 options and that's all it really needs. These options appear at the very bottom of the general settings deashboard page so they will be effectively ignored unless the user explicity needs access to the settings.

    If users would rarely need to make any changes to the plugin, a single option to control whatever feedback is provided about the behavior of the plugin would be totally inocuous. It wouldn't "clutter" anything and would be well worth avoiding the risks introduced by requiring editing a PHP file, possibly by someone who knows nothing about PHP. I mean, considering the point of this plugin, I can see those using it being those who don't "have" to worry about configuring anything and possibly by those not comfortable editing PHP files.

    In any event, once again, I'm not asking you to change anything. I stand by my review as I wrote it above. Having an optional basic reporting function would be nice and having a simple option to enable or disable this function would be even better. At the time I wrote the review above, I wasn't aware of the setting in the PHP file you mentioned above.

    Peace...

  6. webvitaly
    Member
    Plugin Author

    Posted 11 months ago #

    I mean how does anyone really know any piece of software is actually working?

    In Anti-spam plugin you can enable option to send rejected spam messages to email. This functionality is needed to the plugin, but user will configure it very rarely.

    It wouldn't "clutter" anything and would be well worth avoiding the risks introduced by requiring editing a PHP file, possibly by someone who knows nothing about PHP.

    That is a feature too :)
    At least I think it is feature and maybe other can think in different way :)
    If somebody does not know nothing about PHP - he should not configure Anti-spam plugin at all. Editing php files is like a barrier.
    It is like saying to someone "you have such option, but to make it you should edit php-file. But do you really need it now?"
    Or like this: "you can have an ice-cream, but you should go to kitchen to get it. But do you really need it now?"
    Each my plugin have different approaches and some of them have many options because there really needed there.

    As I already told, it is impossible to fit everybody. For someone something looks like feature, and for other it looks like disadvantage. If you think that the plugin does not have everything in it to be better - it's normal.

    If you think your approach is better - you can do a fork of Anti-spam plugin or any other plugin and add to it what ever you think should be in the anti-spam plugin. It's open source and even WordPress is a fork of another CMS because Matt Mullenweg thought he can make something better than b2cafelog tool.

  7. tomdkat
    Member
    Posted 11 months ago #

    Or they could simply use another plugin that offers more configurability or more reporting capability. Anti-spam was the first plugin I tried and maybe I simply need to find another or create a fork of anti-spam, as you mention above. :)

    We clearly disagree on what a "feature" is. In any event, at the very least I know have a reference point that I can use in evaluating other spam prevention plugins.

    Peace...

  8. webvitaly
    Member
    Plugin Author

    Posted 11 months ago #

    Or they could simply use another plugin that offers more configurability or more reporting capability.

    You are right. I love open source because users have such freedom to choose and switching among different solutions. If WordPress would not be free, I would choose some other CMS.

    Yeah, word 'feature' is an abstract and different people put different definitions in it :)

    Good luck.

  9. tomdkat
    Member
    Posted 11 months ago #

    Looks like we disagree on more than just what constitutes a "feature". :)

    I'm also a fan of open source software but I don't think being "open source" gives the users the "freedom". I think it's the fact the software is free (as in no monetary cost) that partially gives people the "freedom" to find the best solutions for their requirements. For example, on Windows I have a choice of various free anti-virus applications yet none of them are open source.

    What I like about WordPress is its architecture and popularity which attract developers to enhance it. Actually, I'm finding this is both good and bad but it is what it is. :)

    Take care!

    Peace...

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