The Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security, or CERIAS, is the world's foremost University center for multidisciplinary research and education in areas of information security. Our areas of research include computer, network, and communications security as well as information assurance.

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Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security

COAST Security Archive Logo The Author Database

The extract_www utility automagically generates, from the index file, a series of hypertext pages that allow for easy navigation through the thousands of entries in the index. For this tool to work efficiently, we need to maintain a minimum amount of information about authors in the archive.

Author Database Structure

The structure of the authors database is rather simple. It consists of a text file that contains one line per author with the elements separated by the # character. The fields, in order, are author name, author's e-mail address, author's WWW URL, author's institution, author's snail-mail address, and author's aliases.

The address fields can contain multiple lines and each is separated by the % character. The aliases field can contain more than one alias and they are separated by a comma (,).

The following is an example of what one of these database entries looks like. In practice the entire entry would be in one long line, but in this document we have chosen to split the entry into multiple lines.

Ivan Krsul#krsul@cs.purdue.edu#http://www.cs.purdue.edu/people/krsul
#Purdue University#1398 Computer Science Building%Purdue University%
West Lafayette, IN 47907-1398#I. Krsul,Ivan V. Krsul,Ivan Krsul A.,I
van V. Krsul A.,I. V. Krsul

Tools for Maintaining the Database

To ease the pain of having to maintain another database, two programs were created. They are available in /u/coast2/ftp-admin/bin.

The authprint tool

The first tool is called authprint and prints an entry of the author database. The tool is a perl script and can be found in /u/coast2/ftp-admin/bin/authaprint. The following is a sample run:
%authprint
Author name: ('.' for all authors): Spaf

Author: Eugene H. Spafford
E-mail address: spaf@cerias.purdue.edu

Institution: Purdue University
WWW URL: http://www.cs.purdue.edu/people/spaf
Address: 
         1398 Computer Science Building
         West Lafayette, IN 47907-1398
Aliases: Gene Spafford,Eugene Spafford,E. Spa
fford,E. H. Spafford,G. Spafford,G. H. Spafford
Note that the results would have been the same had I asked for "e. spaf", "Eugene Sapfford", "E. h spaf", and "Gene".

A problem with this tool is that it accepts the period character (.) and uses it to match other periods. In practice, this doesn't really work well because the periood character will end up matching every character.

The "feature" described in the previous bug description was used to print a list of all users by simply asking the user to type a single period as the authr name. Unfortunately, this doesn't work very well.

The authadd tool

The authadd program is used to add an entry to the database. The program is a perl script that can be found in /u/coast2/ftp-admin/bin/authadd. The following is a sample run of this program.
%authadd
Author name: Steven W. Lodin
Author's email: swlodin@cs.purdue.edu
Author's WWW URL: http://www.cs.purdue.edu/people/swlodin
Institution: Purdue University
Author's snail-mail address (. or blank line to end):
=> 1398 Computer Science Building
=> West Lafayette, IN 47907-1398  
=> 
Aliases for author (. or blank line to end):
=> Steve Lodin   
=> Steven Lodin
=> Steve W. Lodin
=> S. Lodin
=> S. W. Lodin
=> 

The following information will be added to the authors database:

Author: Steven W. Lodin
E-mail address: swlodin@cs.purdue.edu
Institution: Purdue University
WWW URL: http://www.cs.purdue.edu/people/swlodin
Address: 
         1398 Computer Science Building
         West Lafayette, IN 47907-1398
Aliases: Steve Lodin,Steven Lodin,Steve W. Lodin,S. Lodin,S. W. Lodin
 
Is this information correct? (Y/N): y

Built by Mark Crosbie and Ivan Krsul.

Last Modified: 4 March, 1995.

security-archive@cerias.purdue.edu (COAST Security Archive)