Munged email addresses

I’ve seen quite a few people express their email address in words like this:
joebloggs at hotmail dot com
-as an attempt to foil bots(or whatever the term is) from harvesting mail addresses from public pages.

Wouldn’t it be really simple for the programmer to anticipate that particular method too and just get the program to parse it into the correct format? or is it just that nobody bothers doing that?

Yes, it would be. See FriendsReunited as a case in point: their email address filter removes anything with ‘hotmail’ in it (but not ‘yahoo’, which is why my address isn’t part of their ludicrous fiver-a-go charging model).

Since that’d probably be quite easy, two popular ways of encoding your email address I’ve seen are to convert it into character codes (so browsers render it, but bots can’t spot it in the HTML source) – see my own website for an example of that – or to include it as a plain GIF. I tried the latter method, but it’s a pain since obviously you can’t select the text or use it as a mailto link.