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Discussion on: 🤓 What's on your GitHub Profile README

ferricoxide profile image
Thomas H Jones II

I went Old Skool

Old Skool

Still a little bummed that couldn't do it as a .plan or similar.

waylonwalker profile image
Waylon Walker Author

I'm Curious... what is a .plan

ferricoxide profile image
Thomas H Jones II

Back when most Unix systems were concurrently-multiuser and before fingerd was banned from most Unix systems as a security-risk, you could set up a few world-readable files in your world-readable home directory that the finger-daemon would read. Most of the common fingerd implementations would read your .plan and your .project files. Some even let you set up a "face" file (also usable by some mail systems). If someone fingered you, those files would be used to display additional information about you.

Further, the fingerd service would read additional elements from the GECOS field of your /etc/passwd entry:

  • Building and room number or contact person
  • Office telephone number
  • Home telephone number

Even to today, if you've got a personal UNIX system, you can add all of the above to your /etc/passwd file and home-directory ...just that, both due to common security settings and the fact that most UNIX systems are now single-user, nobody does any more.

Effectively, the whole GitHub profile is another example of "what's old is new, again".

It probably won't be long after corporate security groups become aware of the capability that employers that try to limit what employees put on LinkedIn will be adding personal GitHub README files to their social media policies.