Enthusiast Anti-spam Addon, and allegations of jumping ship

Gabrielle wrote an Enthusiast anti-spam addon, which may be useful for those of you whose listings have been targeted by spambots. Please check it out if you have this problem, as this may work for you. Thanks so much to Gabrielle for doing this. <3

On the subject of Enthusiast, I would like to assure everybody that I have not “abandoned ship”. Believe you me, I’ve been through a lot because of Enthusiast, from disgruntled users who swear at me or my script, to people who have ripped my script and claimed it as their own. Yes, I have thought of “abandoning ship” plenty of times, and I suppose this might keep happening far into the future.

But I haven’t thrown in the towel just yet.

That doesn’t mean, however, that everything will be oh-so-fine and dandy and scripts will get chugged out of this scripts archive/tech blog at a steady pace. I wish I could, but there are only 24 hours a day, and seven days a week. I am no longer a college student, as the case was when I started Enthusiast all those years ago and virtually no one knew about it.

(I started to break down my time in an attempt to show just how scrapped for time I am, but I decided not to let it go that far.)

Enthusiast is not the only thing I have to put my time on. I have three blogs, and none of them even get updated as regularly as I like. My first love is creative writing, but I can’t even allot proper time for that. If you look at my fanlistings, a whole chunk of them haven’t even had new layouts in a year, some of them over two! I’ve even relegated to using layouts made by others in my journal (and maybe others) in an attempt to cut down on whatever coding I need to do. I’m a developer/designer, coding is what I do, but I can’t have time to whip up a quick CSS file to customize my own things. How sad is that?

Enthusiast is not the only thing I want to do. I have three scripts I want to create, one script that desperately needs a revamp (and I mean really desperately, but guess what? Enth development is still ranked higher), and I have a couple of others (featured here) that needs an update sometime soon. They’re all competing for attention, and I’m trying to manage it all, along with my work as a Yahoo, the little things we need to do daily so that we continue living, take care of my health, interact with the people around me.

That said, Enthusiast is important to me. I don’t think any one of you who are using it can claim that Enthusiast is more important to them than it is to me. It is important to you only so far as it helps you maintain your fanlistings, but Enth as an entity by itself is useless to you. You’re free to move to other scripts if you find Enthusiast lacking, I’m not stopping you.

To those of you who have shown me support, who help others with their Enthusiast installations, who have donated a little bit to my tip jar for my efforts…I thank you, from the bottom of my heart. Your show of support does not go unnoticed, and they continue to fuel the work here when times are tough. <3

37 comments

  • Sorry to read that some jerks give you a hard time – I really love enthusiast and appreciate that you not only share it with us but also give it so much time with all the bug-fixes and improvements.

    I installed Enth for my hostee and she is quite happy with it, too.

    On top of that I always wanted to say that you are my inspiration to take a closer look at php myself – but I’m good for nothing when I’m stressed out. Except maybe for playing with photoshop ;) But I can work out little things for myself already …

  • Hey Angela, I just wanted to jump in and concur with everyone else and say how grateful I am for Enth and how brilliant it really is! And to say thank you for creating it, I also really appreciate the time you put into it <3 I’m sorry that there are people out there too self involved to realise the time and effort you put into this fabulous script!

  • Thanks, Rebecca :) I appreciate your support.

  • I appreciate the immense amount of effort you put in for /free/ scripts.

    The people who are unfair and belligerent about it don’t seem to realize that you’re doing all of this for free. Further more, you’re paying for them to download it off your hosted server.

    The idiots out there also don’t realize, clearly, that your time is not free and you do have other things that you would /like/ to do, as you’ve mentioned above.

    Once again: Thank you so SO much for the ever-helpful scripts you have written! <3

  • Thank you, Adia! :)

  • Adia said:

    *snugs* You rock Angela! Most of us sane folk understand that real-life, work and other commitments should come first. We support you and happily cheer you on. <3

  • Thank you, Ilona, it did make me feel better <3

  • Well, I may not know how exactly you feel but I can imagine.. I would just like to say THANK YOU for this amazing wonderful script. Without it, I couldn’t imagine myself maintaining 30 fanlistings and a fanlisting collective. That number will surely increase in time. I maintained my member lists manually back then and it was a pain in the arse! So once again, thank you! I hope this little writing from me could make you feel better. :D

  • Thank you, Heather and Ash! I really appreciate the time you took in posting your comments and support — I’m not too much of a blog commenter myself, so I quite appreciate the effort. :)

    Ash, there is no “too-long” comment in my book ;)

  • Hey, it’s Ash from the CG forums (not your hissy fit girl! I swear!) and, like some others on here, I don’t usually post on blogs like this (I guess I’m just shy, really) but, like others, I felt compelled to post.

    I absolutely adore Enth! I enjoy not having to delete buttons manually, I enjoy having everything in one place, and though I may fight with it, it’s more-often-than-not user error anyhow and nothing that’s wrong with the script :) I attempted writing a custom script for my meteorology class (based off the Build A Blog tutorial, used to archive daily weather for a class assignment due at the end of the semester) and, well, it was an interesting experience, to say the least. It’s been three years since then and that experience has stayed with me and Ashley’s post was completely uncalled for.

    Well, now that I’ve gone off on a tangent…THANK YOU for your fantastic script. I can’t imagine the kind of effort that went into Enthusiast when I had enough issues with my simple little diddy. Again, THANK YOU. Your efforts make our lives easier :)

    (sorry this was ridiculously long!)

  • Hey Angela, I just wanted to add my appreciation for all your hard work to the other comments left above. I’m also not much of a commenter on blogs, but like others before me I feel that this is an important cause for me to add my thanks to :) You also have my sympathy on dealing with the ‘bad side’ of enth, I have run online RPGs online for years and I’ve had my own fair share of crap from people. Hopefully these comments will remind you that people do appreciate all your hard work.

  • Thank you everyone! Your show of support is very much appreciated <3

    @Hikoto: yes, we should sometime! :)

  • *huggles* to you, Angela!

    I started my first couple of fanlistings waay back when it was still managed wholly by Jeanine, and Sasha wasn’t even around yet… I had no scripts at all to manage with!
    So when Fanbase and then Enth came along, I was ecstatic.
    In no way would I -ever- expect or even demand next-day upgrades like some people have. Like others have said, you are one person, and you have a friggin life!!

    If anyone else should be nasty to you, let me know… I’ll sic my cat on ‘em. ;p

  • Keiran said:

    I just wanted to add my thanks for Enth. Like Kym above me, I’m not a frequent commenter much of anywhere, but I wanted to add a voice of appreciation, too. :) The work you’ve done on Enth makes things so easy for us owners, and I’m sure the amount of thanks you get is way out of whack in comparison to people who use it.

  • I dont post on boards or comment on things very often – but I felt compelled to after reading this. I quietly look after my little corner of the internet and my fanlistings – but I couldn’t do even that without enthusiast. From what I can see Angela has spent an awful lot of time and effort on something that vastly improves and organises the sites of people she doesn’t know, like me. I’m know I’m extremely grateful for that – anyone that isn’t should try building their own!

  • Thanks for all the effort you have put and still put on Enthusiast and all your projects, Angela. I’ve always appreciated it and I cannot understand how people have been so unfair to you.

    By the way, I am one of those affected by spambots and I was trying to find a workaround myself that I could share with the world, but thank heavens Gabrielle came to humankind’s rescue because I have basically no idea of PHP (ahem…).

    Thanks again and *hug*. :D

  • Ahh…looks like I’m late again! xD Busy as usual. We should honestly meet up sometime before you leave Singapore!

    Like I said before, I really really owe a lot to Enth to be able to manage so many fanlistngs across a broad range of interest. That’s why I_must_feel grateful and is grateful to the script author (YOU!) for even bothering to release the script for public use. You could have just kept it all to yourself and you wouldn’t have all these issues to deal with. So really, it was a very brave and selfless thing you did. (: I don’t think I’ll ever have the courage.

  • I just want to thank you so much for Enthusiast. I’m a newbie to joining/owning fanlistings, but I’ve had the desire to for years now. I never bothered because I wasn’t sure what to do; it all looked so complicated. But Enth makes it all so simple! It’s a fabulous script, and I love it so much. Sorry about the complainers. I know how much of a downer that can be. Some people are never satisfied and have no appreciation. Anyway, I just wanted to thank you personally for what a great gift you’ve given to the fanlisting community. I can’t imagine using anything else. Ever. Much love! <3

  • Thanks everyone. :)

    @Ai: the issue with someone ripping off Enthusiast happened a long time ago, back when Enthusiast wasn’t well known yet. :)

  • I heard about some of the criticism against you, and I have to say that I felt angry and upset on your behalf — you’re doing something really nice for A LOT of people just by having Enthusiast up for download, and by updating it when you have the time! How people can feel that they are in any position to make demands of you, yet give you nothing in return, I will probably never understand.

    You’re doing a great job, thank you so much!

  • The above commenters are right, people ARE being unfairly hard on you. I can’t believe people are swearing at you and claiming Enth as their own after modifying it! I think the least they could do is be thankful for such a great scrit. Enthusiast has been a lifesaver for most FL owners, and people should understand developers have lives of their own and the script does not constitute the center of their universe.

    Kudos for this post and standing up to the “allegations.” :) God bless you, Angela!

  • I haven’t been getting spam from Enth and that’s really good. That being said, I’d like to thank you for such a wonderful script. I don’t think I’d ever get into fanlistings without it. ;)

  • Thanks for the tip about the spam solution, I’ll check it out in a sec – it’s much needed. :)

    You have developed a wonderful FREE script I’ve used for years – THANK YOU. :)

  • Thank you, Melissa! :)

  • I’ve been using Enthusiast since the first beta for 3.0 popped up four years ago and I can’t imagine life without it. I’ve tried my own coding and found it far more difficult than I had anticipated. It gave me so much more respect for coders like you, Jenny, Jem and Sasha and all the others that create these scripts and then offer them for free. You have no idea how much easier you’ve made my life and I appreciate it far more than you can ever know.

  • Thank you, Kya, echo. :)

    Ashley–“the thread worked” is poor justification for the hissy fit you threw. Posts like yours are the reason I don’t frequent the support boards, are the reason, if ever, I’d decide to quit putting up Enthusiast for download. It was rude, and your ranting that you can’t put up with this s*** and that I have abandoned ship was uncalled for. Like I said in the post, you’re free to use other scripts. I don’t have a monopoly nor do I want to.

    Like I told Gabrielle, I understand your frustration (yes, I have been in that situation, and yes, I do get a lot of spam myself, omgshockhorrorAngelagetsspam!) but I don’t appreciate the drama and the hissy fit. I’m a reasonable person, Ashley, sometimes a pushover even, but I won’t be pushed that far.

  • Hi Angela – I was the one who posted on the forum about the spam thing, and the whole thing sort of spun out of control. The reason I decided to post about it in such a confrontational way, was to call attention to the spam problem. Before that thread, I had been combing the boards for 10 months, trying to find a little help from any member, and all I found were threads made by other enth users just like me, asking for spam control, and no one ever helped, they just said “try captcha” with no link to a tutorial or any means of learning to edit the script’s files. It just got to the point where logging in every day to phpmyadmin to weed out hundreds of fake fans, got to be too much to take.

    But the thread worked, so I feel the drama was worth it. Gabrielle’s little addon is awesome, and I don’t even know what to do with the extra time I have now, since I no longer need to delete spam! If only I could somehow give the time to you :)

  • Oh that is awesome of Gabrielle to do that! I am sure it will work wonders and I will defiantly take a look at it. I’m really sorry Angela you don’t deserve to have people treat you in such away because you have been very nice to provide us with this wonderful script, give support for it and be active in the various communities when you do have other things that take priority.

    I can’t thank you enough for the great work you have done and I certainly feel very grateful you have given us such a gem for free. But like I had said previously, you have to put yourself first and do what is important to you. If it means taking a break and focusing on other things for a year or forever I think we can respect that, and if people can’t then they can just f-f-fade away.

    I do wish you the best of luck in whatever happens and I am a proud supporter of yours. You have a lot of people that do admire you and some people might be a tad shy in saying so, but I have spoken to many. :)

    *hugs*

  • Thank you, Angela, for devoting so much hard work to developing scripts that make my life easier. I appreciate the amount of time you’re putting into this — unpaid time, no less!
    Like everyone else who uses them, I’m lucky you’ve made your scripts available for free. I never would have become a fanlisting owner, nor would I have joined more than a few FLs, if I didn’t have an easy way to add, join & update.

    As a novice who has been studying PHP & MySQL (as a hobby) for, like, years now, I know it can take oodles of patience, even for small projects. I applaud you for not only undertaking things that are bigger in scope, but also for offering updates and help, despite not being obligated in any way to do so.
    It’s obvious that this is a labour of love for you; thankfully, you’re willing to share the fruits of your labour with the masses.

  • Thank you, Haley :)

  • I also would like to pop in and write a short comment of appreciation toward you, Angela. I remember when I was manually updating fanlistings, or hardly updating very much because of SPAM and poor script structure. When I converted to Enth, I knew I’d stay with this script to the end! It is one of the most helpful, most organized, most user-friendly script I’ve ever used. Sure I get a little SPAM, but nothing to warrant a heavy complaint!

    I greatly appreciate not only your writing of the script – and others – but that you continue to help users out with troubleshooting the scripts for free. That’s the best thing a script writer could do, and you’ve done it 1000x over.

    There are HUNDREDS of people who use Enthusiast nowadays (probably a lot more!), and I’m certain they feel the same way I do. Thank you so much for all you’ve done with Enth, and for the webmaster who uses it. THANK YOU!!!

  • Thank you, Raine, Jen, and Heather! I really appreciate all the nice feedback I’m getting from everyone, be it just thank-you notes, or suggestions for future improvements ;)

  • Just wanted to post a short comment saying that I really appreciate everything that Enthusiast has enabled me to do as far as fanlistings go. There would be no way that I would be able to run as many fanlistings as I do for the subjects that I love without Enth – so thank you so much for all your hard work, Angela :D There are many people that I know feel the same way as I do, so don’t think that the sentiments of those few are representative of everyone.

  • Good grief, if people are swearing at you for giving them something incredibly useful for FREE they need to get a life. (though swearing at computers & programs is a time-honored tradition… swearing at the creators is just bad form… except M$.. but I digress…)

    No, you don’t owe anybody anything. You wrote an awesome script, and you do so much with it, it’s amazing. I loathe tech support, but you seem to have a knack for it.

    So anyway, WE LOVE YOU!!!! (just sometimes the stupid small minority are louder…) *huggles!*

  • Thanks for the update, Angela! This is my first time posting here, but I just wanted to say I had no idea that people are bugging you about Enthusiast and any new releases (which is what I assume from what you’ve said!) I just want to personally say, and I know it might not be much, but I love Enthusiast and what you’ve done with it – I appreciate it so much for helping me maintain fanlistings within a busy real-life schedule. I know of course other fanlisting maintenance scripts do the same, but Enthusiast is gorgeously concise and all-encompassing, too. I don’t think you should have to explain yourself – as you said, we all have other interests as well as time commitments. Enthusiast is great as it is – user-friendly, specialised, and of course free and easiyl customisable – and any future add-ons or developments are just a bonus. :)

    Anyway! Just wanted to conclude and say – I’m grateful for Enthusiast and how it’s helped me fanlisting-wise! You go girl! :D

  • Thanks again, Gabrielle :)

    On the user side of things, I know where those people who complain are coming from since I’ve used a couple of things before where the creator/maintainers have pretty much disappeared. It’s certainly very frustrating, especially when you feel that you don’t have any other options other than to just keep using that particular script/application/etc.

    However, I *have* been blogging occasionally here, and I *have* mentioned that I am working on Enthusiast 4 somewhat recently — I haven’t disappeared, hence it feels a bit too premature to say that I have abandoned ship. It’s taking a while for Enthusiast 4, I’ll admit, but in addition to me not having enough time, I’m trying to make sure that the complete rewrite of the script is done correctly. I can’t really rush that and churn out code that fast.

    Ah, if I could ;) I’m pretty excited myself to actually use a new shiny Enthusiast…

  • Thanks, Angela. <3

    As to the rest of your post. I think people are being unfairly hard on you. You have created Enthusiast out of the desire to share your hard work with others and help make fanlisting life easier on them. It is not their right you keep making new releases of Enthusiast all the time. If Enthusiast isn’t working for them then they should politely make a request for help, consider another script, write their own modifications if they have the skills, or write their own script if they have the skills.

    You should not be blamed, especially as you’re only one person. It’s not like other scripts where there are multiple maintainers.

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