Do We Really Need the Email Cloaking Plugin in Joomla’s Core?

One of the most annoying, and needless plugins on Joomla is the email cloaking content plugin. For those of you who don’t know what this plugin is, it translates any email (a string that matches an email pattern) to JavaScript obfuscated code in order to prevent spammers from picking up that email and ultimately spamming it.

However, in this day and age, such a plugin is technically useless, since spammers have already developed, several years ago, many algorithms to bypass JavaScript email obfuscation. For mysterious reasons, however, some Joomla developers think that this plugin is still the best think since sliced bread and are totally against removing it. That wouldn’t have been an issue if the plugin was useless but harmless, but, unfortunately, this is not the case.

For example, email obfuscation causes a major issue with PayPal because PayPal is not programmed to decode any JavaScript encryption that is associated with the merchant email. Additionally, if someone has disabled JavaScript on his browser, then he will not be able to see the email (which can lead to loss in potential leads/sales), instead they he will see the following error: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

So, now that we have proven that the plugin is both useless and problematic/annoying, why-oh-why does it still come with Joomla? It even ships with Joomla 3 and there are no plans to remove it either in the near or in the distant future. If some developers really think that it’s a good plugin then why not have it as an optional plugin instead of just integrating into the core. Why not allow the people the option of not having it? And why is it always enabled by default?

Hopefully, this little post of ours will spark a small debate which ultimately leads to the removal of this antiquated plugin that existed from the Mambo era. Until then, you can just disable the plugin from the Plugin Manager!

No comments yet.

Leave a comment