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Archive: March 2006

Gatekeeper 1.5 rc5

It only took most of a year for this to happen, but WP-Gatekeeper 1.5 RC5 is now available.  The only change is that it will now auto-add the challenge to any standard WordPress 1.5 install from the moment you activate the plugin.  Before now, this auto-insertion wasn’t working on any WordPress install that had gzipping turned on, as many do.  A heap of thanks to Jeremy Dunck, who first identified the problem; and Andy Skelton, who showed me how to solve it.

For those who joined the party in the long silence since RC4, Gatekeeper is a WordPress plugin that lets you manage a series of challenge/response pairs.  The default challenge is “What color is an orange?” (correct response: “orange”), though you should definitely disable that one and add your own.  This helps stymie spambots, though of course it is easily defeated by a manual spammer—and they do exist—and it can do nothing to stop trackback spam.  I actually stopped using Gatekeeper on meyerweb when I installed Akismet, which may be good enough for most people.  For those who can’t or won’t run Akismet, though, Gatekeeper is a decent alternative.

Gatekeeper is technically a CAPTCHA, but it is a fully accessible CAPTCHA, as it uses no images.  It’s also highly configurable, allowing you to add as many challenges as you like and then rotating between them randomly.  I know of a few sites that are quite happy with Gatekeeper, and recently caught wind of a Django implementation of the same concept.

So it’s there and ready for use by those who are interested.  If I haven’t heard about any bugs within the next month or so, I’ll strip off the RC designation and go with 1.5 final.  And about time, too.

Note to WordPress 2.0.x users: I have no idea if WP-Gatekeeper 1.5 will work in WP2.  It may.  Then again, it may not.  I’d be interested to know either way.

March 2006
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