AUC (Authenticated User Community)

About The Project

Software Description

AUC, which stands for Authenticated User Community, was originally designed for use in K-12 organizations with the goal of making the Internet and computer technology a more accessable resource for students and teachers. Since then, its goals have broadened to support education at the university/college level, and also to act as web-based information exchange in any business or other organization. AUC runs on a normal UNIX-based web server and allows users to login over the web and have access to a wealth of personalized data sharing and communication tools, tailered to the organization using the system. In a school setting, this Intranet allows collaboration between students, teachers, and parents that was previously impossible. In any organization, it encourages forums for discussion and the general exchange of data and information.

Also Available: A History of the Development of AUC

Some of the AUC's key features include:
  • Interactive Classrooms (or iClassrooms) which can be created, maintained, and used right from the web... features of iClassrooms include interactive discussion forums, automated class schedule and logging features, and an interface which makes the technology immediately accessible to new users. The classrooms would be used to post homework assignments and keep members of the class organized. In a future, release, this component may be renamed Interactive Forums as AUC is generalized to apply to more than just educational settings.
  • A Fully Functional Web-based E-mail Client which can access any IMAP based e-mail account. It has full support for multiple folders and viewing and downloading MIME attachments. If installed on a system that is already configured for pine use, AUC uses the same site and user configuration files, to make the coexistence of both email methods automatic.
  • An Innovative Web-based File Manager which allows users to access files in their existing shell account or in a web-only account. The interface allows users to edit, create, rename, and delete files in a user-friendly manner that is intuitive to new users normally uncomfortable with file management, yet powerful enough to satisfy gurus.
  • An Automated School Newspaper Engine which allows the staff of any periodic newspaper or newsletter in the organization to seemlessly publish an online version of the content. The text of articles is inserted into a form, and with a single-click, the entire issue is published online in an attractive, configurable design that is fully cross-linked and searchable.
  • Powerful Web-based Maintenence Tools make it easy to keep AUC running after its initial installation. Users can be added, deleted, and maintained from the web using the account administration tool. Also, the interactive forums can be maintained on the web, with varying degrees of control for:
    • The system administrator(s)
    • The maintainer of the forum (teacher of a class)
    • An "online aide" for a forum, appointed by its maintainer
  • Flexible Authentication Mechanisms allow the administrator to choose between a PAM-based or a built-in user/password authentication scheme, depending on site preferences. This decision can be made on a user by user basis, allowing maximum flexibility. If a user also has a shell account on the server machine, AUC's file management and e-mail features adapt accordingly.
  • A Robust MySQL Backend stores data in an open, non-proprietary format. MySQL's speed, scalability, networking ability, and organization increase the power of AUC. Also, backups can be performed easily by making a copy of the MySQL database. Because all of AUC's data is stored this way, other applications can easily be made to read or alter AUC data.

About the Developers

David Moore <> is the primary developer of AUC and also currently maintains the web site. He is a Freshman at the California Institute of Technology where he is currently studying Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. Some of his past projects include nanotechnology research on the use of conducting molecules as the basis of nanoelectronic circuit design. Also, he was heavily involved with the deployment and use of UNIX infrastructure at his high school.

Ivan Askwith <> is responsible for many of the graphics and design concepts that appear in AUC and this website. He is currently a Freshman in the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at New York University. This past year, he launched Impact Communications, a student-maintained graphic design firm (specializing in web applications), and worked with David to develop the AUC engine for use in their now-alma mater's computer labs.

Ronen Mukamel coded the perl-based newspaper publishing engine currently included in AUC. He is currently an 11th grader at Brighton High School, in upstate New York, where he is a member of "Spinners", the club which maintains the school website.

© 2000, David Moore