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Date: Thu, 20 Oct 2005 20:24:57 +0200
From: Andreas Ericsson <>
Subject: Re: obfuscating e-mails in RPM specs

Solar Designer wrote:
> Hi,
> We're about to start obfuscating e-mail addresses in our RPM spec files,
> and we intend to update all of our existing specs accordingly.
> The syntax we might use is this:
> * Sat Sep 24 2005 Solar Designer <solar at> 3.6.1p2-owl15

This is a bit too common. Most harvesting engines will understand it if 
they try at all. The <> signs are a dead giveaway for them to try a bit 

> My questions are:
> 1. Are others doing the same?  What syntax is being used?

Others are doing the same with various syntaxes. I've seen
turned into
foo_dot_bar_at_some_dot_where_dot_com (which is a bit stupid IMO). (which is even dumber)
foodotbaratsomedotwheredotcom (not only dumb, but also unreadable) (which is sort of neat and tidy)
foo:bar@...e:where:com (clever harvesting engines break this on account 
of : being a member of the interpunctuation class)
foo dot bar at some dot where dot com (hard to read)
foo#dot@...e#where#com (works, sort of)

The list goes on...

> 2. Is this known to break any software processing spec files or RPMs?
> In particular, I guess the extra spaces might break the separation of
> fields, so should they be avoided?  Maybe use dashes instead?

I'm not sure what sort of programs that would be, but changelog comments 
*should* be parsed based on the fact that they start with an asterisk on 
a single line followed by one or more lines that start with a dash. This 
is the format RPM itself requires anyways.

> 3. Is it even worthwhile to try to come up with a common syntax for this?

It might be worth coming up with an uncommon syntax for it. The most 
important thing is to make sure you can whip up a small sed-script or 
some such to take care of turning it back again if that's ever necessary.

Andreas Ericsson         
OP5 AB                   
Tel: +46 8-230225                  Fax: +46 8-230231

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