= P =
plan file n.
[Unix] On systems that support finger, the
`.plan' file in a user's home directory is displayed when the user
is fingered. This feature was originally intended to be used to
keep potential fingerers apprised of one's location and near-future
plans, but has been turned almost universally to humorous and
self-expressive purposes (like a sig block). See also
Hacking X for Y.
A recent innovation in plan files has been the introduction of
"scrolling plan files" which are one-dimensional animations made
using only the printable ASCII character set, carriage return and
line feed, avoiding terminal specific escape sequences, since the
finger command will (for security reasons; see
letterbomb) not pass the escape character.
Scrolling .plan files have become art forms in miniature, and some
sites have started competitions to find who can create the longest
running, funniest, and most original animations. Various animation
- Andalusian Video Snail:
and a compiler (ASP) is available on Usenet for producing them.
See also twirling baton.
--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.