username cgi

Steve Holden sholden at
Mon Mar 17 23:33:12 CET 2003

"Anthony Paul" <no at> wrote in message
news:b54oha$1avjo$1 at
> Hello,
> I am writing a forum on intranet using python. I don't want my users
> have to enter their username when they will add a message, so I need to
> read the %username% environment variable of the workstations (they're
> running win2k).
> Is it possible ?
> I found a solution about REMOTE_USER but it needs web
> authentification...

Generally speaking, you can't expect to be able to run arbitrary code on
your users' web client machines. Therefore you need to use some form of
"login" or authentication mechanism that has them provide their identity
once (per session or per lifetime, depending on whether you implement
permanent server-side storage for the user identities), and have the server
identify the user thereafter by some token provided by the client.

Cookies would be the normal way to do this. Some people are cookie-phobic,
and in that case they'd perhaps want to encode the identity as a part of
each URL that was sent to the server.

This is a fairly well-known problem (and you were correct in later saying
that it's not specific to one particular web environment), so if you google
for things like "web session state" you will find out a lot about the
available mechanisms.

Steve Holden                        
Python Web Programming       
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