Bernd Pollermann , IT/User Support
A couple of changes and real improvements have been introduced
While this article might be of general interest to all users, it
is essential for those who use the
command from programs or in
Here a summary of what was done:
phonecommand is running in a new server
phonecommand has been speeded up considerably, by making the code more efficient and running the update in a more powerful machine (Linux).
You can now expect the update to have finished between 5:30 and 6:00 each morning.
phonecommand have been moved to local files of the server. This will guarantee fast and undisturbed access to the data, even during periods of AFS problems.
Up to now it was necessary to specify the name of the platform
-afs, -novell or
-otheraccount) to find
a person by his/her loginid. From now on one only needs to specify
the "generic" term
Example: Instead of
phone -afs wcncron or
you can use now
phone -loginid wcncron or
spmail existing on at
least one platform. As usual
-loginid can be
-log, i.e. the first three letters.
Important note: For backward compatibility the parameters
-afs, -novell or
-otheraccount will still
work, but will be removed from the
command on the 26th January of 2000.
Background information: In the past one could have found
cases in which two persons have the same login-id on different
platforms, for example: user A had
'myown' on AFS,
whereas person B had the same login-id, i.e.
on NOVELL. Such cases are not possible anymore and a login-id on
its own, i.e. without having to know on which platform it exists,
determines unambiguously the owner. For this reason it had become
desirable to simplify the list of tags of the
phone command. At the same time it was possible to also
reduce the number of fields in
xwho top page,
'-mail'it is now possible to find with the
phonecommand the owner of an e-mail address. This will work under the condition that the address is either a valid physical e-mail (PEM) or generic e-mail (GEM).
phone -mail firstname.lastname@example.org or
phone -mail Nicole.Cremel@cern.ch
will find in an unambiguous way the owner of this address. As usual, the search is not case sensitive, and, in the case of
'@cern.ch' the node name can be omitted.
Important note: Although many forms of mail addresses
other than the correctly spelt PEM or GEM may work, in the sense
that mail sent to them will arrive,
phone -mail will
not work for those. The main application of the
'-mail' would be therefore
One could envisage a program which "does its best" to
read in a list of mail addresses and produces a list with the
recommended, or correct(ed) version. However, this would not be
done within the
phone command itself, but in an
extra version of it.
In case you have need for such a program, please address this point to the author.
dd-Mmm-yy it is now
This is relevant only for users who analyze the output of the
phone command with the parameter
ccidgave either trouble to the server, or returned the person who had the next
ccidfollowing the non-existing one.
This is now fixed: Whenever the
wrong or doesn't exist you get an error message.
phonecommand running in a new server