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Goofy tool to generate web pages that might look like user profiles returned by a search.

In reality, Phauxfiles isn't much more than an excuse to experiment with Rust, but thanks to the good graces of User Inter Faces and UI Names and their public APIs, it's a mildly entertaining hack.

The program itself is fairly straightforward: Grab a bunch of names from UI Names and, for each name, get a URL to a random avatar from User Inter Faces. Wrap that in style-ready HTML and print it.

Because the people submitting their avatars for reuse should get some recognition, the avatar is now clickable, taking you to their page on User Inter Faces, which allows you to click through to their Twitter profiles.


Note: For reference, between the Rust v1.0 beta and the official v1.0 release, no changes needed to be made for the code. However, on Linux, I needed to (re-)install libc-dev and libssl-dev; libssl-dev needed to be installed yet again for Rust v1.1, as well. If cargo can't build the required libraries, I would start there.


cd phauxfiles
cargo build

And there you go.


Sure, from the phauxfiles folder, you could try...

cargo run

Alternatively, you can try...


...which is the same thing, except that you can add a command-line parameter to specify how many fake profiles will be generated and whether to output to a specific file or served across HTTP, such as...

Short Form Long Form Type Default Description
-h --help Print help information
-n --number-of-profiles integer 6 Number of profiles to include
-o --output-file string Name of output file
-s --server integer Serves the page from an HTTP server on the port

If an output file is specified, Phauxfiles overwrites it with the output. If none is specified, it prints the output to stdout.

There is a sample CSS file in the folder referenced by the HTML output, so the resulting output can be opened in a web browser directly. In "server mode," the CSS file will be served out of the current directory. Files are "white-listed," so there is no security concern unless you edit format.css to include information that should be secure.

Please note that there appears to be a conflict between getopts and execution via cargo run.

Web Server

Running the web server allows a more flexible usage, by parsing the URL query parameters.

Name Type Description
count integer Number of profiles to include
where string Country of origin for the names
sex string Gender to select for the names

The sex parameter is validated by Phauxfiles as one of m, M, male, f, F, or female.

The where parameter is also validated, turning ISO country codes into country names known to be valid for UINames, which include the following:

Abbreviation Country
al Albania
ar Argentina
au Australia
at Austria
az Azerbaijan
bd Bangladesh
be Belgium
ba Bosnia and Herzegovina
br Brazil
ca Canada
cn China
co Colombia
dk Denmark
eg Egypt
gb England
fi Finland
fr France
ge Georgia
de Germany
gr Greece
hu Hungary
in India
ir Iran
il Israel
it Italy
jp Japan
mx Mexico
ma Morocco
nl Netherlands
nz New Zealand
ng Nigeria
pl Poland
pt Portugal
ro Romania
ru Russia
es Spain
se Sweden
ch Switzerland
tr Turkey
ua Ukraine
us United States
vn Vietnam

Note that using the country's full name is no longer accepted by Phauxfiles and the abbreviations must currently be lowercase. If the code is not recognized, it is eliminated, reverting to the default random behavior.

Assuming that the server listens on port 8080, an example usage might be <http://localhost:8080?count=5&where=in&sex=f>, giving five random female Indian names with random avatar images.


In the spirit of full disclosure...

  • The program (rightly) now relies on the hyper library. It's currently set to use the latest version, which may require some minor updates as the library improves.

  • It might also be nice to be able to switch between HTML and text mode.

  • More extensive profile information would be nice, though there don't seem to be any handy APIs to play with. I may integrate quotes and cat pictures at some point, but that still doesn't flesh out the profile itself.

  • APIs that might be of interest (which I'm partly documenting here just to have them documented somewhere I can access more than because I plan to do much more work on these fake profiles) would include...


Goofy tool to generate web pages that might look like user profiles returned by a search.




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