[LibX] in Firefox 3.5 LibX is underlining phone number as if they were ISBN

Godmar Back godmar at gmail.com
Thu Jan 28 10:46:07 PST 2010

I thought we had excluded the phone number pattern xxx-xxx-xxxx ...
let me check ... no - that safe guard didn't make it through the last
refactoring when we introduced hot-updatable cues ... I just now added
it back in, so now xxx-xxx-xxxx should not be hyperlinked even if its
checksum indicates a valid ISBN. You must "Update Cues" or wait 24
hours to see that and open a new window.

ISBN's hyphenation instructions
) state (correct me if I'm wrong) that properly hyphenated 10-ISBNs
have a hyphen after the first digit, so no properly hyphenated ISBN
will be missed by us excluding phone numbers in this way.

 - Godmar

On Thu, Jan 28, 2010 at 12:30 PM, Matthias Liffers
<matthias.liffers at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi Victoria (and list),
> As far as I'm aware, LibX runs each 10-digit number it finds past a
> little piece of code that sees if it follows the proper ISBN format.
> Some technical information about this format is available:
> http://www.geo.unizh.ch/~uruetsch/docs/isbn.html
> There's at least one online utitlity that checks the numerical
> validity of ISBNs. I've run both the numbers you've provided through
> it, and they are both valid according to the numerical specification:
> http://www.isbn-check.de/checkisbn.pl?isbn=617-496-8294&submit=testen&lang=en
> http://www.isbn-check.de/checkisbn.pl?isbn=617-495-2452&submit=testen&lang=en
> This is just unfortunate coincidence.  Every 10-digit number has a
> chance of being valid according to ISBN standards, and some of your
> phone numbers simply are.
> I imagine it would be technically feasible to modify LibX so that it
> checks every single numerically-valid 10-digit number against a
> central database of ISBNs. This is probably not a very smart idea,
> because the Internet isn't always very fast.
> With tongue firmly in cheek, I suggest you change your phone numbers
> to include either area codes or your country code so that they are no
> longer 10 digits :-D
> Regards,
> Matthias Liffers
> 2010/1/28 Victoria Lin <weilin at hulmail.harvard.edu>:
>> Hi, we just noticed that when using Firefox 3.5, LibX is underlining some
>> phone numbers in our staff directory because it thinks they are ISBN
>> numbers. For example on
>> http://hcl.harvard.edu/staff_directory/browse.cfm?ld_id=8
>> 617-496-8294 and 617-495-2452 are underlined, while other phone numbers are
>> not.
>> our libx is version 1.5.13 rebuilt on Jan 25, 2010, I tested the old
>> versions, happens there too. Could not replicate in IE.
>> thanks,
>> --
>> Victoria Lin
>> Systems Librarian
>> Harvard University Library
>> Office for Information Systems
>> 90 Mt. Auburn St
>> Cambridge, MA 02138
>> Tel: 617-495-3724
>> Email: weilin at hulmail.harvard.edu
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