Writebackplus Plugin

03/05/2007 10:20:23
tags: blosxom, web

This plugin is an update to Rael’s original writeback plugin.

Download plugin:

Or, go to Tony Shadwick’s site to learn about his version of the plugin that adds support for MT-Blacklist:1

NOTE: MT-Blacklist is now dead. Tony has re-done his plugin to use SpamAssassin instead.

I finally did what needed to be done for a long time. I rewrote the writeback plugin, incorporating all of my personal changes, as well as the seewritebacks, recentwritebacks, and antispam features.

In short, this is now THE writeback plugin to use (it does not replace comments or other similar plugins, only Rael’s version.) (er, since the time this plugin was created, some other solutions have been created that may or may not suit your purposes better!)

It is easier to set up than Rael’s, and (IMHO) works better, but much of the code is taken from his plugin. Also, it is essentially a drop in replacement for writeback, seewritebacks, and recentwritebacks. You may need to alter your themes/flavours, though (sample files are included).

The main differences are:

  • It logs IP address and date (in US or UK format) for all comments
  • You can filter stories for those with recently posted comments by adding “?recent=x” to your url, where x is number of days to include
  • Writebacks are no longer tied to a particular flavour. You can view and submit writebacks with any flavour on your site, unless you choose otherwise
  • Email addresses are converted to semi-spambot safe code (though I am sure the smarter spambots can read this by now…)
  • It is less likely to interfere with other plugins (there were some issues with writeback and submission early on)
  • It does a better job with handling the combined email/http field that always seemed to cause problems for people…
  • It converts “$” to a websafe code to prevent blosxom variables from being included in your writebacks (a MAJOR security risk, not to mention the cause of many a broken website..)
  • It currently only allows <p> and <br> tags in comments, the rest are displayed but not interpreted. You may alter this to include more tags if you wish

In short, this is a much safer, easier, and all around better writeback plugin than the original, and I recommend everyone take a look at it…


  1. First, Thanks for your effort Tony!

    However, I have chosen not to add these changes to my copy of the plugin for several reasons:

    1. I believe the writeback model is becoming increasingly flawed and prone to abuse, leading to  ↩

    2. A great deal of mental gymnastics to overcome this abuse, which adds work for the user, not the spammer

    3. I believe that blacklists are generally a poor approach to deal with these sorts of problems – see WhyBlacklistsAreBad

    4. Additionally, the writeback/writebacksplus plugins have several other shortcomings that need to be addressed, and I think the best way for that to happen is a whole new plugin

    But, I recognize that others may not agree, and may wish to use blacklists, and happily point them on towards Tony's contribution!

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