RFC 742 (rfc742) - Page 2 of 7
Alternative Format: Original Text Document
NWG/RFC# 742 KLH 30-Dec-77 08:31 42758 Name/Finger 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
" for a local default listing, or ":NAME @SAIL " for SAIL's default listing, or ":NAME Foo@MC " to ask MIT-MC about Foo's status, etc.