Bernd Pollermann CN/DCI
xwho service is one of the most frequently used services,
and yet a large number of users are not fully
aware of how to use it, what is offered, the mechanisms behind it, and what they
should/could do if things go wrong.
In this CNL article I will describe the various ways of using
this service and what you can expect to get out of it.
xwhovia the web-browsers Netscape or Mosaic starting from the URL:
It is therefore the recommended way of using the
Access is done from the CERN home page by clicking on ``Directories (phone & email, services & people)'', or from your bookmarks (after having inserted the above mentioned URL).
For these cases we propose the line mode command xwho. It can be used without parameters, in which case it offers a panel to be filled. It can also be used with parameters as this example shows:
xwho bernd cn
finds all the people called Bernd and are in the division CN. It displays a first-level list with the full names etc. To get more information about a person (eg. his/her email address), move the cursor to the family name in this list and press RETURN.
phonecommand is even more direct than the
xwhocommand in the sense that it has only one level of ouput. This means that information such as mail-addresses or accounts can be obtained immediately, without going through a second step. In addition you can define the meaning of your search terms via tags. Example:
phone -afs bernd -MAIL
gives you the e-mail of the person who has an afs account 'bernd'. When you are using tags you are also allowed to use the wildcard character `*' to indicate missing characters. Example:
phone -surname "PO*" -firstname "*ND"
will show you all the people whose surname starts with 'PO' and
whose firstname ends with 'ND'. Please note that you must
enclose the strings containing an '*' in doublequotes.
This one-level output of
phone makes it very easy
to use phone in a program, eg. to create a list of mail-addresses
for a group of people.
such as ``
phone bernd cn'' are, of course, also possible.
For more details, please consult the man page.
xwhoyou can also get their accounts for each central service and related information: `uid',`gid' and whether an account is `blocked', `pending' or `reserved'. Please note: account information is not given to users from outside CERN.
Additional features include access to the CERN map showing where somebody's office is, and - if available - to her/his homepage.
Search terms for the analytical phone book are always entered into the long text window with the title: ``Personal and Analytical phone book combined''.
`nice support', `tape service', `cn secretariat', `beam diagnostic' will all lead to entries which not only show you the phone numbers, but also point to the home pages of the services with detailed information, so that - hopefully - you don't even need to phone ...
A lot of additional information is available via the yellow pages but most users are unaware of its existence. Please be more courageous and try to find more of the useful stuff such as:
where ccid is the Computer Centre ID of the account holder. By doing so you have a reference which is
For more detail the article under ``http://consult.cern.ch/xwho/help/reference'': How to reference a (set of) persons in the phone book.
xwhoand what to do if things go wrong.
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