Gatekeeper 1.5 rc5

Published 18 years, 3 months past

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.

Comments (5)

  1. Congratulations, Eric. Gatekeeper was the inspiration for the writeback deterrence feature that I put into Vine Type. I was attacted by Gatekeeper’s simplicty, accessibity, and flexibility.

  2. I have read articles criticising CAPTCHA including this form, as it excludes some children and mentally retarded people (or those who cannot type accurately). On many sites I cannot see this being a problem because to be able to understand the content these questions are simple enough, but even with the orange example, I believe there is those that cannot reprouduce the exact spelling but could possibly still understand the content fine.

    I am not particuarly concerned because it goes far beyond the efforts of most CAPTCHA methods, but claiming it is ‘fully accessible’ is something some might dispute.

    P.S. Just making the assumption that you haven’t made it possible to get an answer “close enough” which in my opinion would be very difficult but excludes a few less people. I still like it :)

  3. In the version of Gatekeeper I’m currently using, I found I needed to fix the $search expression you’re using in gatekeeper_comment_form_filter() in order to respect the line breaks I have between my <p> and <input>/<textarea> elements.

    $search = '#<p>(.*?)<input(.*?)name="url"(.*?)/>(.*?)</p>(.*?)<p>(.*?)<textarea(.*?)tabindex="(\d+)"(.*?)>#si';
    preg_match($search, $buffer, $matches);
    if ($matches) {
    $challenge_tab = $matches[8];
    $textarea_tab = $challenge_tab + 1;
    $replace = '<p>$1<input$2name="url"$3/>$4</p>' . gatekeeper_markup_template($default_markup, $challenge_tab) . '$5<p>$6<textarea$7tabindex="' . $textarea_tab . '">';

  4. I’m especially curious if/when Gatekeeper will be updated to be used on WordPress 2.0 ??

  5. I still wait your upgrade to latest version.

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