Seeking Gardeners

October 26, 2008

Regular Calagator users may have noticed a upswing in spam lately. We seem to be a new favorite target for people looking to promote sales of certain medications and photos of female celebrities. The Calagator development team has been working to filter against spam entries, but as anyone with an email address knows, even the best spam filter sometimes lets things slip through.

We often talk about Calagator as a wiki-like collaborative calendar, so we borrowed an idea from the wiki world, and added event and venue versioning. This way, if someone (human or bot) decides the SAO Poker Night really needs a bunch of links to [insert generic spam topic here], anyone can roll back the entry to the previous version, cleaning it up.

Here’s how it works:

Go to the entry you want to fix and click the edit link.

DorkbotPDX Meeting » Calagator_ Portland_s Tech Calendar
Uploaded with plasq‘s Skitch!

Select a different version number, and the edit fields will revert to the content for that version.

Portland's Tech Calendar
Uploaded with plasq‘s Skitch!

Then click the save button, and you’re done. A new version with the reverted content is created, and the spammers are foiled (for now).

How do you find out when there’s an entry that needs some cleanup? Calagator now has a Recent Changes page, with a matching Atom feed you can subscribe to in your favorite newsreader. Help us by keeping an eye on things, and fixing spam as it occurs. If you see a wave of new spam the filters aren’t catching, let us know on our Get Satisfaction page. Filtering works well against predictable bots, but less so with human tampering, so even as our filter gets better, we still need your eyes to make sure Calagator remains a great, useable calendar for the Portland tech community.