Out with CAPTCHA, in with NoBot control

It seems like almost everybody (including myself) was having big trouble getting a comment into my weblog. The main culprit was the CAPTCHA control that I found on the MSDN site and have been using since. It resulted not only in a lot of user unfriendliness, but also a lot of runtime errors (memory corruption :O ) and an unavailable weblog.

So, out goes the CAPTCHA control. Welcome to the AJAX Control Toolkit’s NoBot control. It is an “open source” collaboration that extends the AJAX ASP.NET Extensions library that you can find on the Microsoft AJAX website.

The NoBot control uses three different techniques to filter out bot postbacks on a webform:

  1. Use a configurable JavaScript calculation to test if a browser makes the request and that the script is actually executed.
  2. The postback itself must be a certain amount of time later than the request. This is true for humans typing something into a form.
  3. A limit on the number of postbacks that can be made from a single IP address within a time window.

I hope this will work.

Also new in this release is the BlogML 2.0 support. BlogML is a syndication format that is gaining momentum to move your blog content to another blogging engine. This is not just the postings, but also their categories and comments. Of course both engines must support BlogML export and import respectively. You can get the recent entries of my weblog as BlogML and even the entire contents.

Promise to self: If this weblog goes down one more time due to unexplainable errors, I am switching to Community Server. The Community Server 2.1 BlogML converter is right here, so it shouldn’t be too much of a problem. Tried and tested. (I will probably switch anyway, because CS is superior by far. I would have to give up the freedom to add whatever functionality to the blogengine I want).

All of this effort is part of an important personal message I will put up shortly.

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