Faces on the Internet FAQ

Steve Kinzler ((no email))
Thu, 20 Jan 1994 17:04:49 -0500

Dear Face People,

I've volunteered to answer a FAQ about faces on the Internet. Please find
enclosed below my first draft answer. I hope to have included at least
a pointer to pretty much everything that has to do with faces on the
Internet to date. I submit it to you for your information, and in hopes
that you'll send me any corrections and additions you can identify.

Thanks, Steve Kinzler


How can I find out what someone on the Internet looks like?

[answered by Steve Kinzler, kinzler@cs.indiana.edu, Jan 94]

There are a few on-line ways that you might be able to view an image of
a particular Internet user, if you're lucky.

First, if both your site and the site for the user in question are both
running a special version of finger that supports face images, and if
a face image is available for that user, then you can use finger to
view the person's face along with their ordinary finger information.
Such special versions of finger are GNU finger and its derivatives.
GNU finger is available from most GNU software archives, such as
ftp.gnu.ai.mit.edu:/pub/gnu/finger*. A recommended derivative is ICSI's
version available in icsi.berkeley.edu:/pub/stolcke/icsi-finger*. One GNU
finger server with lots of face images available is cs.indiana.edu --
finger .help@cs.indiana.edu for details.

Second, if you can expect that the person you're interested in has ever
attended a Usenix conference, then they might have had their photo
digitized as part of Usenix's FaceSaver project. These images and
further details are available in ftp.uu.net:/published/usenix/faces.

Third, there exists a collection of small bitmaps of Internet users
in cs.indiana.edu:/pub/faces/facedir*. The FaceSaver images are also
available in this archive in a smaller, monochrome format as facesaver*.
Also, in logos*, there's a collection of bitmaps representing various
Internet domains using the appropriate company or organization logo.
See the README* files in these collections for information about
submitting bitmaps to them. If you use a Web browser, a convenient way
to reference these collections for a particular user is to access the
"WWW to Finger Gateway" at the URL http://cs.indiana.edu/finger/gateway.
When fingering via this gateway, any face and logo bitmaps available
are displayed along with any finger information.

Other software is available that can take advantage of these bitmap
collections. "faces" is available in cs.indiana.edu:/pub/faces,
runs under X11, NeWS, SunView and XView windowing systems, and can
be used to monitor one's mailbox, jobs in a print queue, users on a
system, unread news articles, weather forecasts and other such things
using displays of faces and logos for the items monitored. The exmh
interface to the MH mail system can use these collections to display
the face or logo for the mail messages it processes. It's available in
parcftp.xerox.com:/pub/exmh. Both these programs can recognize a special
item in a mail header labelled X-Face as a compressed and encoded face
bitmap for the sender of the mail message.

Other software that can deal with face images in some manner are:
xfaces ftp.x.org:/contrib/xfaces* mailbox monitor
xwafemail ftp.wu-wien.ac.at:/pub/src/X11/wafe mail interface
quipu ISO Development Environment user directory server
vismon AT&T Version 8 Unix visual monitor