ARMWARE RFC Archive <- RFC Index (701..800)

RFC 742

Obsoleted by RFC 1288, RFC 1196, RFC 1194

NWG/RFC# 742                                  KLH 30-Dec-77 08:31  42758
Network Working Group                                     K. Harrenstien
Request for Comments: 742                                         SRI-KL
NIC: 42758                                              30 December 1977



   This note describes the Name/Finger protocol.  This is a simple
   protocol which provides an interface to the Name and Finger programs
   at several network sites.  These programs return a friendly,
   human-oriented status report on either the system at the moment or a
   particular person in depth.  Currently only the SAIL (SU-AI), SRI
   (SRI-(KA/KL)), and ITS (MIT-(AI/ML/MC/DMS)) sites support this
   protocol, but there are other systems with similar programs that
   could easily be made servers; there is no required format and the
   protocol consists mostly of specifying a single "command line".

To use via the network:

   ICP to socket 117 (octal, 79. decimal) and establish two 8-bit

   Send a single "command line", ending with <CRLF>.

   Receive information which will vary depending on the above line and
   the particular system.  The server closes its connections as soon as
   this output is finished.

The command line:

   Systems may differ in their interpretations of this line.  However,
   the basic scheme is straightforward:  if the line is null (i.e. just
   a <CRLF> is sent) then the server should return a "default" report
   which lists all people using the system at that moment.  If on the
   other hand a user name is specified (e.g. FOO<CRLF>) then the
   response should concern only that particular user, whether logged in
   or not.

   Both ITS and SAIL sites allow several names to be included on the
   line, separated by commas; but the syntax for some servers can be
   slightly more elaborate.  For example, if "/W" (called the "Whois
   switch") also appears on the line given to an ITS server, much fuller
   descriptions are returned.  The complete documentation may be found
   at any time in the files ".INFO.;NAME ORDER" on MIT-AI,

                                                                [Page 1]

NWG/RFC# 742                                  KLH 30-Dec-77 08:31  42758

   SRI-KL, all freely accessible by FTP (with the exception of SRI-KL,
   where TOPS-20 requires the "anonymous" login convention).

   Allowable "names" in the command line should of course include "user
   names" or "login names" as defined by the system, but it is also
   reasonable to understand last names or even full names as well.  If a
   name is ambiguous, all possible derivations should be returned in
   some fashion; SAIL will simply list the possible names and no more,
   whereas an ITS server will furnish the full standard information for
   each possibility.

Response to null command line - "default" listing:

   This is a request for a list of all online users, much like a TOPS-10
   or TENEX "systat".  To fulfill the basic intent of the Name/Finger
   programs, the returned list should include at least the full names of
   each user and the physical locations of their terminals insofar as
   they can be determined.  Including the job name and idle time (number
   of minutes since last typein, or since last job activity) is also
   reasonable and useful.  The appendix has examples which demonstrate
   how this information can be formatted.

Response to non-null command line - "name" listing:

   For in-depth status of a specified user, there are two main cases.
   If the user is logged in, a line or two is returned in the same
   format as that for the "default" listing, but showing only that user.
   If not logged in, things become more interesting.  Furnishing the
   full name and time of last logout is the expected thing to do, but
   there is also a "plan" feature, wherein a user may leave a short
   message that will be included in the response to such requests.  This
   is easily implemented by (for example) having the program look for a
   specially named text file on the user's directory or some common
   area.  See the examples for typical "plans".

Implementation miscellany:

   Anyone wishing to implement such a server is encouraged to get in
   touch with the maintainers of NAME by sending a message to BUG-NAME @
   MIT-AI;  apart from offering advice and help, a list of all sites
   with such servers is kept there.  It is also suggested that any
   existing programs performing similar functions locally (i.e. not as
   net servers) be extended to allow specification of other sites, or
   names at other sites.  For example, on ITS systems one can say
   ":NAME<cr>" for a local default listing, or ":NAME @SAIL<cr>" for
   SAIL's default listing, or ":NAME Foo@MC<cr>" to ask MIT-MC about
   Foo's status, etc.

                                                                [Page 2]

NWG/RFC# 742                                  KLH 30-Dec-77 08:31  42758

   It should be noted that connecting directly to the server from a TIP
   or an equally narrow-minded TELNET-protocol user program can result
   in meaningless attempts at option negotiation being sent to the
   server, which will foul up the command line interpretation unless the
   server knows enough to filter out IAC's and perhaps even respond
   negatively (IAC WON'T) to all option commands received.  This is a
   convenience but is not at all required, since normally the user side
   is just an extended NAME/FINGER type program.

And finally a little background:

   The FINGER program at SAIL, written by Les Earnest, was the
   inspiration for the NAME program on ITS.  Earl Killian at MIT and
   Brian Harvey at SAIL were jointly responsible for implementing the
   protocol just described, and Greg Hinchliffe has recently brought up
   a similar server for SRI-KA and SRI-KL.

                                                                [Page 3]

NWG/RFC# 742                                  KLH 30-Dec-77 08:31  42758
Appendix - Examples


Note: it is possible for some lines of the actual output to exceed 80
chars in length.  The handling of such lines is of course dependant on
the particular user program; in these examples, lines have been
truncated to 72 chars for greater clarity.

                Three examples with a null command line:

Site: MIT-AI
Command line:

-User-   --Full name--          Jobnam Idle TTY -Console location-
XGP    O Xerox Graphics Printer XGPSPL      T24 Datapoint Near XGP (9TH)
FFM    U Steven J. Kudlak       HACTRN      T41 Net site CMU-10A
KLH    + Ken Harrenstien        F           T42 Net site SRI-KL
___013 -  Not Logged In         HACTRN 1:26.T43 DSSR UNIX x3-6048 (MIT-*
CWH    U Carl W. Hoffman        E         4.T50 919 Very Small Data Bas*
CARL   A Carl Hewitt            HACTRN 5:03.T52 813 Hewitt x5873
APD    M Alexander Doohovskoy   XGP    1:52.T54 912 9th Floor Lounge x6*
JJK    T James Koschella        E           T55 824 Hollerbach, Levin, *
KEN    L Kenneth Kahn           E           T56 925 Moon (Tycho under) *

Site: SAIL
Command line:

     Person          Job Jobnam Idle    Terminal
DAN Dan Sleator       46 MACLSP      DM-3         150/1200 modem 415 49*
DEK Don Knuth          3 E        3. tv-55  205   Library
                      20 PI       2  TV-55  205   Library
ES  Gene Salamin      44 SD MC       TV-40  223a  Farmwald
JJ  Jerrold Ginsparg  11 TELNET      DM-0         150/1200 modem 415 49*
JMC John McCarthy      1 FINGER    . detached
                      12 E        2. IML-15       McCarthy's house
KRD Randy Davis       42 AID      7  TV-52  203   Allen
LES Les Earnest       23 TEMPS    2. DM-1         150/1200 modem 415 49*
ME  Martin Frost      17 E        3  tv-46  220   Filman, Frost
                      31 E           TV-46  220   Filman, Frost
PAM Paul Martin        9 E           TV-106 251C  King, Levy, Martin
ROD Rod Brooks        37 MACLSP   3  TV-117 250C
RWG Bill Gosper       30 SD MC       TV-34  230e  Robinson
                                     TV-67  213   Kant, McCune, Steinbe*
RWW Richard Weyhrauch 39 E           TV-42  214   Weyhrauch
SYS system files       6 FINGER      PTY122       job 5 Arpanet site AI*

                                                                [Page 4]

NWG/RFC# 742                                  KLH 30-Dec-77 08:31  42758
Appendix - Examples

Site: SRI-KL
Command line:

Thursday, 15-Dec-77 01:21:24-PST  System up  3 Days, 22:20:52  28 Jobs
Drum   0%  Load avs 0.26 0.23 0.31   14 Act, 10 Idle,  8 Det

User    Personal Name     Job Subsys 15m%  TTY  Room   Console Location
BLEAN   Bob Blean          37 EXEC    0.0   41  K2007  Blean
KLH     Ken Harrenstien    83 TELNET  1.6   12  J2023  Spaceport
KREMERS Jan Kremers        48 TECO    0.0  121  Dialup 326-7005 (300 Ba*
MAINT   Digital Equipment  54 SNDMSG  0.5   43  K2035  Melling
MCCLURG Jim McClurg        40 EXEC    0.0   26  PKT
MMCM    Michael McMahon    31 EXEC    1.5  122  Dialup 326-7006 (300 Ba*
MOORE   J Moore            52 TV      0.2  124  Dialup 326-7008 (300 Ba*
PATTIS  Richard Pattis     19 LISP    0.8   11  ARC
PETERSO Norman Peterson    33 EXEC   25:12 234         (RAND-TIP)
STONE   Duane Stone        34 TELNET 3:51  240         (RADC-TIP)
                           27 EXEC   7:11  232         (SRI-KL)
TORRES  Israel Torres      64 BSYS    0.0   76  K2079  TI by tape drives
                           68 EXEC   1:15  104  K2029  Operators' Office

                                                                [Page 5]

NWG/RFC# 742                                  KLH 30-Dec-77 08:31  42758
Appendix - Examples

                     Examples with names specified:

Site: MIT-AI
Command line: klh

KLH    + Ken Harrenstien        Last logout 10/16/77 13:02:11  No plan.

Site: MIT-MC
Command line: cbf

CBF    M Charles Frankston      Not logged in.  Plan:
  I'll be visiting another planet til about December 15.  If anyone
  wants to get a hold of me transmit on some fundamental wavelength
  (like the radius of the hydrogen atom).

Site: MIT-MC
Command line: smith

BRIAN  A Brian C. Smith         Last logout 11/24/77 08:02:24  No plan.
DBS    T David B. Smith         Last logout 12/03/77 11:24:01  No plan.
BPS    T Byron Paul Smith       Not logged in.  No plan.
GRS    U Gary R. Smith          Last logout 12/12/77 18:43:19  No plan.
JOS    S Julius Orion III Smith Last logout 11/29/77 06:18:18  No plan.
$PETE  M PETER G. SMITH,        Not logged in.  No plan.
IAN    L Ian C. Smith           Not logged in.  No plan.
AJS    D Arnold J. Smith        Last logout 12/09/77 14:31:11  No plan.

Site: SU-AI
Command line: smith

"SMITH" is ambiguous:
RS  Bob Smith
DAV Dave Smith
JOS Julius Smith
LCS Leland Smith

                                                                [Page 6]

NWG/RFC# 742                                  KLH 30-Dec-77 08:31  42758
Appendix - Examples

Site: SU-AI
Command line: jbr

     Person          Job Jobnam Idle Line  Room   Location
JBR Jeff Rubin        16 COPY    27. TV-43  222   Rubin
                                     TV-104 233   hand-eye table

Site: SU-AI
Command line: bh

     Person               Last logout
BH  Brian Harvey      22:49 on 14 Dec 1977.  Plan:
    ^O08-Oct-77  2156   BH  ^Y12257 (1-Jul-78)
Weekdays during the day I'm usually unreachable; I'm either at S.F.
State or at Benjamin Franklin JHS in San Francisco, but neither place
is recommended for leaving messages.  Evenings and weekends I'm
generally home (55) 751-1762 unless I'm at SAIL.  I log in daily from

Site: SRI-KL
Command line: greg

GREG (Greg Hinchliffe) is on the system:

Job Subsys  # Siz  Runtime    1m%  15m%  TTY  Room   Console Location
62  EXEC    1   0  0:00:10.6        0.8  235         (SUMEX-AIM)

Last login: Mon 12-Dec-77, 15:05, from SUMEX-AIM (Host #56.)
GREG has no new mail, last read on Mon 12-Dec-77 15:10

                                                                [Page 7]