WebFinger is a new protocol for mapping email addresses to public profile information. Despite being named after the classic finger protocol, there isn’t a version of the Unix finger command that supports the WebFinger protocol. So to fill this gap, I’ve cobbled together wfinger – the traditional finger command with WebFinger support.
- Binary: wfinger.zip (Mac OS X 10.6 Universal Binary)
- Demo CGI Gateway:
- Source Code: wfinger repository (compiles on Mac OS X and Debian Linux)
Example (using web-fingerling Blaine Cook):
% ./wfinger email@example.com [gmail.com - web finger] Account: firstname.lastname@example.org Name: Blaine Cook Organization: BT Title: Sociotechnologist Email: Phone: Address: Belfast, Northern Ireland Profile: http://www.google.com/profiles/romeda OpenID: http://www.google.com/profiles/romeda Links: Twitter: http://twitter.com/blaine Blog: http://blog.romeda.org/ del.icio.us: http://delicious.com/lattice Yelp: http://blaine.yelp.com Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lattice/ tel: http://tel:447595925264 Latest Tweet: #blogtalk2010 finished, really lots of fun. Thanks to @johnbreslin and everyone else here for a great event. :-D
The WebFinger-based output of wfinger is mainly fields extracted from the user’s profile using the hCard micro-format. To add some color, wfinger will also display the user’s latest tweet, if a Twitter account is detected. When WebFinger information can’t be found, wfinger falls back to using the traditional finger code/protocol. Thus, it still works with those who have keep the finger-protocol flame alive throughout the dark ages, like bzs and alexis at The World and Panix.
I also added code to look for a new “https://habilis.net/hfinger” relationship in account XRDs. The “hfinger” stand for HTTP Finger, and hfinger URLs should point to HTTP finger gateways that return text/plain finger output. This allows fingerd-like output to be tunneled via WebFinger resource discovery. You can see this in action by wfingering my account (email@example.com). This will be useful for people who just want traditional finger output, but are on systems that don’t allow port 79 access.
I hope wfinger will generate some interest in the WebFinger protocol amongst the command-linerati and grumpy grey-beard sysadmins, who run the internet. Share and Enjoy!