Captchas and non-English speakers

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Captchas and non-English speakers

Teofilo
I've just opened a new account on the Danish Wikipedia.

I was asked to read the following Captcha :

http://da.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Speciel:Captcha/image&wpCaptchaId=713360303

I provided the following answer : "shipsneeds" and it was accepted.
But I must confess that reading the second "e" and the "d" was
difficult for me.

I was anguished, because I feared that if I answered a wrong answer, I
would not be given a second chance for some time.

I don't see why both "e"s should have a different look. Because they
looked different, I was puzzled during a long time before eventually
choosing to type a second "e". The vertical bar of the "d" being
extremely short in comparison with that of the "h" and that of the
"p", I was wondering if the last character could not be a square
looking "o" or a manual script "a".

I had all these difficulties although I am among the advanced readers
and speakers of English. I Know that "ee" is an often found character
combination in English. I could also recognize the words "ships" and
"needs".

What about non-English speakers ?

Should we not have Japanese-based, Malayalam-based (there is a lot of
talk nowadays in having Wikipedia growing in India), etc. captchas ?

For the time being, while the captcha is English-based, how about
adding a button with "let me try another captcha" for people
experiencing a captcha that is very difficult to read ?

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Re: Captchas and non-English speakers

liangent
I hate the case that I'm asked with a Chinese captcha when I'm surfing
some Chinese websites without IME available.

Besides I don't prefer Chinese captchas personally because Chinese
characters usually require more key hits.


On 2/5/11, Teofilo <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I've just opened a new account on the Danish Wikipedia.
>
> I was asked to read the following Captcha :
>
> http://da.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Speciel:Captcha/image&wpCaptchaId=713360303
>
> I provided the following answer : "shipsneeds" and it was accepted.
> But I must confess that reading the second "e" and the "d" was
> difficult for me.
>
> I was anguished, because I feared that if I answered a wrong answer, I
> would not be given a second chance for some time.
>
> I don't see why both "e"s should have a different look. Because they
> looked different, I was puzzled during a long time before eventually
> choosing to type a second "e". The vertical bar of the "d" being
> extremely short in comparison with that of the "h" and that of the
> "p", I was wondering if the last character could not be a square
> looking "o" or a manual script "a".
>
> I had all these difficulties although I am among the advanced readers
> and speakers of English. I Know that "ee" is an often found character
> combination in English. I could also recognize the words "ships" and
> "needs".
>
> What about non-English speakers ?
>
> Should we not have Japanese-based, Malayalam-based (there is a lot of
> talk nowadays in having Wikipedia growing in India), etc. captchas ?
>
> For the time being, while the captcha is English-based, how about
> adding a button with "let me try another captcha" for people
> experiencing a captcha that is very difficult to read ?
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikitech-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l
>

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Re: Captchas and non-English speakers

MZMcBride-2
In reply to this post by Teofilo
Teofilo wrote:
> Should we not have Japanese-based, Malayalam-based (there is a lot of
> talk nowadays in having Wikipedia growing in India), etc. captchas ?

This is the subject of bug 5309, "Localize captcha images":
https://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/show_bug.cgi?id=5309

> For the time being, while the captcha is English-based, how about
> adding a button with "let me try another captcha" for people
> experiencing a captcha that is very difficult to read ?

This is the subject of bug 14230, "Add a button to request a new fancy
captcha (code)": https://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/show_bug.cgi?id=14230

Generally it's a good idea to search Bugzilla before mailing this list. More
often than not, Bugzilla will contain the relevant problem and a discussion
of it.

While I sympathize with non-English speakers, I must confess that it's been
quite a while since I filled out a CAPTCHA on a Wikimedia wiki. Surely most
users use unified login, requiring a CAPTCHA to only be filled out once for
all Wikimedia wikis?

MZMcBride



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Re: Captchas and non-English speakers

David Gerard-2
On 5 February 2011 05:19, MZMcBride <[hidden email]> wrote:

> This is the subject of bug 5309, "Localize captcha images":
> https://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/show_bug.cgi?id=5309
> This is the subject of bug 14230, "Add a button to request a new fancy
> captcha (code)": https://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/show_bug.cgi?id=14230
> Generally it's a good idea to search Bugzilla before mailing this list. More
> often than not, Bugzilla will contain the relevant problem and a discussion
> of it.


This comes across as dismissive. Saying "we have old bugs filed that
no-one is working on" is not a reason to dismiss discussion of a real
problem. Tim has noted how badly our captcha solutions suck.

(It's a real pity reCaptcha is third-party and proprietary.)


- d.

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Re: Captchas and non-English speakers

Alex Brollo
2011/2/5 David Gerard <[hidden email]>

>
>
> (It's a real pity reCaptcha is third-party and proprietary.)
>

Well, we it.source fellow are writing our communication about (it will be
published into wikisource-l), but a brief mention to good news is mandatory
here.

We have a simple script that extracts word images, corresponding to doubtful
OCR interpretation, from any djvu file with a text layer; scripts to upload
into djvu layer again fixed words are simple too.

We posted first communication into John Vandenberg en.source user page, and
a wikicaptcha is now something possible.
See John's lalk here:
http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/User_talk:John_Vandenberg#reCAPTCHA_for_source

Alex brollo
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Re: Captchas and non-English speakers

Teofilo
In reply to this post by liangent
I have just checked how they do at Baidu Baike (the well kown Chinese
online encyclopedia) :

http://baike.baidu.com/page/userlogin.html#reg

Their captcha is a set of 4 characters : either arabic numbers or
latin capital letters. It looks easier than our current mediawiki
captcha, and they have a "You can't see?" button providing another
try.

2011/2/5 Liangent <[hidden email]>:
> I hate the case that I'm asked with a Chinese captcha when I'm surfing
> some Chinese websites without IME available.
>
> Besides I don't prefer Chinese captchas personally because Chinese
> characters usually require more key hits.

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Re: Captchas and non-English speakers

Teofilo
In reply to this post by MZMcBride-2
2011/2/5 MZMcBride <[hidden email]>:
> While I sympathize with non-English speakers, I must confess that it's been
> quite a while since I filled out a CAPTCHA on a Wikimedia wiki. Surely most
> users use unified login, requiring a CAPTCHA to only be filled out once for
> all Wikimedia wikis?

I was thinking that this first step into entering a wiki (as a
registered user) might be the most difficult thing people will ever be
required to perform in their life as a Wikimedia user. It is like we
require our users to have an IQ above 130, while very simple on-wiki
tasks such as correcting typing mistakes don't require more than an
average IQ.

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Re: Captchas and non-English speakers

Marcus Buck
In reply to this post by Teofilo
Being technically able to type the local script somehow is a
prerequisite for participation in the wiki. Therefore it should be okay
to have the captcha in local script. It won't impede those users
familiar with the wiki's local language. But it will potentially impede
foreign users. Therefore it would be useful to provide a drop-down menu
that allows you to choose the script of the captcha. That way every user
can choose the script that fits best.

Instead of captchas like "shipsneeds" we of course need words in the
local language. It shouldn't be hard to do some statistical analysis of
existing articles on the wiki and to collect a sample of common words of
limited length that can be combined to form local captchas. (I guess the
above-mentioned script drop-down should be a script/language combination
drop-down then.)

Marcus Buck
User:Slomox

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Re: Captchas and non-English speakers

Alex Brollo
2011/2/5 Marcus Buck <[hidden email]>

>
> Instead of captchas like "shipsneeds" we of course need words in the
> local language. It shouldn't be hard to do some statistical analysis of
> existing articles on the wiki and to collect a sample of common words of
> limited length that can be combined to form local captchas. (I guess the
> above-mentioned script drop-down should be a script/language combination
> drop-down then.)
>

Just to let you know that Aubrey just prestented it.source idea for
wikicaptcha into wikisource-l

:-)

Obviously, if a wikicaptcha tool will be built and will run, we can do
anything .... and while interpreting words (in any language) any user will
contribute to source transcriptions in a very valuable way.

Alex brollo
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Re: Captchas and non-English speakers

David Gerard-2
On 5 February 2011 15:12, Alex Brollo <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Just to let you know that Aubrey just prestented it.source idea for
> wikicaptcha into wikisource-l
> :-)


This is excellent!

What would it take to get this into place? What's the captcha load on
WMF sites? Would e.g. the toolserver melt under the load? Perhaps on
one project at a time?


- d.

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Re: Captchas and non-English speakers

Alex Brollo
2011/2/5 David Gerard <[hidden email]>

> This is excellent!
>
> What would it take to get this into place? What's the captcha load on
> WMF sites? Would e.g. the toolserver melt under the load? Perhaps on
> one project at a time?
>

Please consider that only a test script run - just to show that it's
possible that a python script loads djvu text layer, selects doubtful words,
selects the image of such words and saves them into a file. Now it's matter
for excellent developers: how to select djvu files, where to upload them,
how to build the database os words/images,  how to build a user interface to
show images and to get user input.... our it.source test documents that the
first step can be done. It's so rewarding to give to that script the numbero
of a djvu page, nothing re, then to see tiff images popping out into the
folder... :-)

Alex
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Re: Captchas and non-English speakers

River Tarnell-8
In reply to this post by David Gerard-2
In article <AANLkTikWLU5Y8C2UokYRN=[hidden email]>,
David Gerard  <[hidden email]> wrote:
>On 5 February 2011 15:12, Alex Brollo <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> Just to let you know that Aubrey just prestented it.source idea for
>> wikicaptcha into wikisource-l
>What would it take to get this into place? What's the captcha load on
>WMF sites? Would e.g. the toolserver melt under the load? Perhaps on
>one project at a time?

I don't think this should be hosted on the Toolserver; as CAPTCHAs are a
core part of the site, they should not rely on the TS to work.

        - river.

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Re: Captchas and non-English speakers

Alex Brollo
2011/2/5 River Tarnell <[hidden email]>

> In article <AANLkTikWLU5Y8C2UokYRN=[hidden email]>,
> David Gerard  <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >On 5 February 2011 15:12, Alex Brollo <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >> Just to let you know that Aubrey just prestented it.source idea for
> >> wikicaptcha into wikisource-l
> >What would it take to get this into place? What's the captcha load on
> >WMF sites? Would e.g. the toolserver melt under the load? Perhaps on
> >one project at a time?
>
> I don't think this should be hosted on the Toolserver; as CAPTCHAs are a
> core part of the site, they should not rely on the TS to work.
>
>        - river.
>
>
IMHO, it could be an opportunity to think again to the role of Commons as a
central library. I imagine something like this:

1. as soon as a djvu file with a text layer is uploaded, a complete set of
pages text layers is extracted, saving words coordinates too;
2. such text layers could be browsed by a script, extracting all words
marked as doubtful (usually with a ^ characters), but extracting too words
which don't match with a good dictionary;
3. a dynamic recaptcha database is updated and word images are submitted to
wiki contributors, both as a formal captcha for unlogged user edits, and as
a volunteer job to help wikisource projects; updates will fix text files;
4. a tool should be build, to upload "pure text" from such text files into
any wikisource project;
5. finally refined text could be re-uploaded into djvu file, so converting
it into a "djvu file with a wiki text layer".

Alex




4.
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Re: Captchas and non-English speakers

Diederik van Liere
In reply to this post by David Gerard-2
Isn't this a nice gsoc 2011 project?
Best
Diederik

Sent from my iPhone

On 2011-02-05, at 2:40, David Gerard <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 5 February 2011 05:19, MZMcBride <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> This is the subject of bug 5309, "Localize captcha images":
>> https://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/show_bug.cgi?id=5309
>> This is the subject of bug 14230, "Add a button to request a new fancy
>> captcha (code)": https://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/show_bug.cgi?id=14230
>> Generally it's a good idea to search Bugzilla before mailing this list. More
>> often than not, Bugzilla will contain the relevant problem and a discussion
>> of it.
>
>
> This comes across as dismissive. Saying "we have old bugs filed that
> no-one is working on" is not a reason to dismiss discussion of a real
> problem. Tim has noted how badly our captcha solutions suck.
>
> (It's a real pity reCaptcha is third-party and proprietary.)
>
>
> - d.
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikitech-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l

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Re: Captchas and non-English speakers

praveenp
On Saturday 05 February 2011 10:51 PM, Diederik van Liere wrote:
> Isn't this a nice gsoc 2011 project?
> Best
> Diederik
>
> Sent from my iPhone
>
> On 2011-02-05, at 2:40, David Gerard<[hidden email]>  wrote:
>
There is atleast one successful  captcha php script for Malayalam
Language (http://sourceforge.net/projects/mlcaptcha/ ,
http://mlcaptcha.blogspot.com/2010/02/blog-post_24.html ). I don't know
whether it can work with mediawiki.

>> On 5 February 2011 05:19, MZMcBride<[hidden email]>  wrote:
>>
>>> This is the subject of bug 5309, "Localize captcha images":
>>> https://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/show_bug.cgi?id=5309
>>> This is the subject of bug 14230, "Add a button to request a new fancy
>>> captcha (code)": https://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/show_bug.cgi?id=14230
>>> Generally it's a good idea to search Bugzilla before mailing this list. More
>>> often than not, Bugzilla will contain the relevant problem and a discussion
>>> of it.
>>
>> This comes across as dismissive. Saying "we have old bugs filed that
>> no-one is working on" is not a reason to dismiss discussion of a real
>> problem. Tim has noted how badly our captcha solutions suck.
>>
>> (It's a real pity reCaptcha is third-party and proprietary.)
>>
>>
>> - d.
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> Wikitech-l mailing list
>> [hidden email]
>> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l
> _______________________________________________
> Wikitech-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l
>


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Re: Captchas and non-English speakers

Alex Zaddach
In reply to this post by Diederik van Liere
Probably not. All you need is a word list for each language. As long as
you have a font that supports the characters, there aren't any major
issues that would prevent you from generating non-English captchas. Bug
5309 points out a couple minor issues with the captcha script. You may
have to generate word lists for some languages, but I doubt that would
take all summer. It's just a matter of someone sitting down and doing it.

--
Alex (wikipedia:en:User:Mr.Z-man)


On 2/5/2011 12:21 PM, Diederik van Liere wrote:

> Isn't this a nice gsoc 2011 project?
> Best
> Diederik
>
> Sent from my iPhone
>
> On 2011-02-05, at 2:40, David Gerard <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> On 5 February 2011 05:19, MZMcBride <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>>> This is the subject of bug 5309, "Localize captcha images":
>>> https://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/show_bug.cgi?id=5309
>>> This is the subject of bug 14230, "Add a button to request a new fancy
>>> captcha (code)": https://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/show_bug.cgi?id=14230
>>> Generally it's a good idea to search Bugzilla before mailing this list. More
>>> often than not, Bugzilla will contain the relevant problem and a discussion
>>> of it.
>>
>>
>> This comes across as dismissive. Saying "we have old bugs filed that
>> no-one is working on" is not a reason to dismiss discussion of a real
>> problem. Tim has noted how badly our captcha solutions suck.
>>
>> (It's a real pity reCaptcha is third-party and proprietary.)
>>
>>
>> - d.
>>

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Re: Captchas and non-English speakers

Platonides
In reply to this post by Teofilo
Teofilo escribió:
> I've just opened a new account on the Danish Wikipedia.
>
> I was asked to read the following Captcha :
>
> http://da.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Speciel:Captcha/image&wpCaptchaId=713360303

Captcha urls can only be viewed once, you'd need to uplooad it somewhere
for sharing.

> I provided the following answer : "shipsneeds" and it was accepted.
> But I must confess that reading the second "e" and the "d" was
> difficult for me.
>
> I was anguished, because I feared that if I answered a wrong answer, I
> would not be given a second chance for some time.

That's not the case.

> I don't see why both "e"s should have a different look. Because they
> looked different, I was puzzled during a long time before eventually
> choosing to type a second "e". The vertical bar of the "d" being
> extremely short in comparison with that of the "h" and that of the
> "p", I was wondering if the last character could not be a square
> looking "o" or a manual script "a".

I agree. Some captchas are quite bad.

> I had all these difficulties although I am among the advanced readers
> and speakers of English. I Know that "ee" is an often found character
> combination in English. I could also recognize the words "ships" and
> "needs".
>
> What about non-English speakers ?
>
> Should we not have Japanese-based, Malayalam-based (there is a lot of
> talk nowadays in having Wikipedia growing in India), etc. captchas ?

Note it'd be trivial to generate a set of captchas in a different
language. You'd just need the appropiate (secret) dictionary.


> For the time being, while the captcha is English-based, how about
> adding a button with "let me try another captcha" for people
> experiencing a captcha that is very difficult to read ?

Well, it should be done (bug 14230) :)


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Re: Captchas and non-English speakers

MZMcBride-2
In reply to this post by David Gerard-2
David Gerard wrote:

> On 5 February 2011 05:19, MZMcBride <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> This is the subject of bug 5309, "Localize captcha images":
>> https://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/show_bug.cgi?id=5309
>> This is the subject of bug 14230, "Add a button to request a new fancy
>> captcha (code)": https://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/show_bug.cgi?id=14230
>> Generally it's a good idea to search Bugzilla before mailing this list. More
>> often than not, Bugzilla will contain the relevant problem and a discussion
>> of it.
>
> This comes across as dismissive. Saying "we have old bugs filed that
> no-one is working on" is not a reason to dismiss discussion of a real
> problem. Tim has noted how badly our captcha solutions suck.

My intention wasn't to come across as dismissive. On the other hand, if
people begin new conversations without having read the old conversations, it
sets back progress dramatically. The opening post didn't make any mention of
the old bugs or their progress, so I was trying to point out that these
issues were already known and there were already forums in which they could
and should be discussed.

David Gerard (also) wrote:
> (It's a real pity reCaptcha is third-party and proprietary.)

I think it's a real pity that CAPTCHAs are needed at all. They're a
pain-in-the-ass and their effectiveness against coordinated or sophisticated
attacks is dubious at best.

Diederik van Liere wrote:
> Isn't this a nice gsoc 2011 project?

Ideas for Google Summer of Code 2011 should go here:
http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Summer_of_Code_2011/Project_ideas

Platonides wrote:
> I agree. Some captchas are quite bad.

Occasionally the CAPTCHA will create offensive combinations, which are a bit
worse than double Es and the like. ;-) This is the subject of bugs 10408,
16166, and 21025.

Alex wrote (referring to a GSOC project involving better CAPTCHA support):
> Probably not. All you need is a word list for each language. As long as
> you have a font that supports the characters, there aren't any major
> issues that would prevent you from generating non-English captchas. Bug
> 5309 points out a couple minor issues with the captcha script. You may
> have to generate word lists for some languages, but I doubt that would
> take all summer. It's just a matter of someone sitting down and doing it.

There's certainly a right balance to be struck between projects that are far
too large and complex (and thus never get finished) and projects that are
too small and get finished within a day or two. Personally, I'd much rather
have a bunch of small projects get finished (and re-worked as necessary)
than have one large project get started, but never finished (LiquidThreads,
interwiki transclusion, etc.).

If you looked at all of the CAPTCHA-related bugs as a group (including
possibly removing the Python dependency), there's more than enough to be at
least considered for Summer of Code 2011.

MZMcBride



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Re: Captchas and non-English speakers

Platonides
In reply to this post by praveenp
praveenp wrote:
> There is atleast one successful  captcha php script for Malayalam
> Language (http://sourceforge.net/projects/mlcaptcha/ ,
> http://mlcaptcha.blogspot.com/2010/02/blog-post_24.html ). I don't know
> whether it can work with mediawiki.

It could be added, although I find that particular captcha easier for
bots than for humans. And an attacker can easily play with the
parameters to weaken it even more.


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Re: Captchas and non-English speakers

Platonides
In reply to this post by MZMcBride-2
MZMcBride wrote:
> My intention wasn't to come across as dismissive. On the other hand, if
> people begin new conversations without having read the old conversations, it
> sets back progress dramatically. The opening post didn't make any mention of
> the old bugs or their progress, so I was trying to point out that these
> issues were already known and there were already forums in which they could
> and should be discussed.

There are such misunderstandings, so is sometimes the internet.

> I think it's a real pity that CAPTCHAs are needed at all. They're a
> pain-in-the-ass and their effectiveness against coordinated or sophisticated
> attacks is dubious at best.

And then you have projects like ptwiki which permanently make IPs pass
captchas due to a bot attack which was being done three years ago [1].
After running this way for three years, it probably needs community
consensus to change now the status quo.

1-
http://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikip%C3%A9dia:Esplanada/Arquivo/2008/Janeiro#Activa.C3.A7.C3.A3o_de_Captcha_para_edi.C3.A7.C3.B5es_por_IP


> If you looked at all of the CAPTCHA-related bugs as a group (including
> possibly removing the Python dependency), there's more than enough to be at
> least considered for Summer of Code 2011.

We should create a captcha tracking bug.



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