Improvments, Changes & Questions

Shannon D. Appel (
Mon, 29 Apr 91 14:56:30 -0700

Ok, I just got faces up here. Kudos to the creator. I had some suggestions
for improvements to it, many of which I am sure have been suggested before,
but I thought I would put them forth anyways, to find out what their status
was in upcoming releases.

I. faces -H

faces -H is quite useful, but it seems implemented poorly. Depending upon
a shell command (especially a nonstandard one like rusers) just seems like
a bad move overall. I would think that the first step in this would be to
move to something more standard (say 'who') and the second would be to
put the code straight into the program to scan the utmp and find who is on.
This would increase the efficiency as well.

Implemented who instead of rusers in this manner would cause some loss
in the ability to detect who is on remote hosts. However, as it is,
that facility seems fairly limited. On my copy of faces, I implemented
use of "finger @%s" for non-local hosts. Running faces -H on a remote
host this way, is, as expected, less efficient, but it expands the usage
a lot. Again, this would be more efficient as well if the remote
protocal were coded in instead of simply running a shell command.

II. mh

It would be nice to be able to type faces -f inbox or something like
that, and have it pop up a faces window for your mh inbox. This would
be especially useful for people who use slocal to directly incorporate
their mail. (A direct expansion of this would be faces -f inbox -unseen,
which would be equally useful, and, probably, faster). Has anyone
done anything like this, or considered it?

III. news

Getting faces to work with a newsreader, so you could get faces of the
people writing the articles would be cool, but much less trivial than
the other ideas. Thoughts?