I Spent quite a while writing the Data Analyst Programming Language. It’s supposed to make life a bit easier when your looking for interesting patterns of activity in things like Web logs Etc. The whole idea seems to have fallen on deaf ears (maybe because it’s no good, or maybe because the target audience couldn’t see past the end of their noses), but I’ve left the code around just in case anyone shows any interest. Have a look at the repository here if you are interested.


DAPL is a program language wrapper intended to simplify the process of analysing large volumes of structured single-line records (for example HTTP, SSH and Audit logs, phone or building access logs and the like). The wrapper might be thought of as mysql for CSV files, but without the databases, or perhaps the query language components of Model 204. The underlying language is C and has only been tested on modern versions of Fedora. The primary focus in all this work has been to keep things small, lean and simple.

Provisions are made for dealing with other forms of data through a conversion process (Currently only one such converter exists - for processing spam E-mail).

A small range of standalone utilities that aid dealing with IP related data have been included, albeit they are separate (but replicated) from the core DAPL wrapper. Data “fusion” can take place through inbuilt lookup functions that read separate reference files.

All of this functionality is created using old-fashioned procedural programming techniques. There ain’t no Rumbaugh here.

DAPL makes provisions for two code blocks within any main routine:


Code within the setup block is executed once after program initialisation. It’s purpose is to allow the user to perform startup functions like opening input and output files, defining input fields, identifying reference files Etc. Any failures within the setup block stops the whole process running. The user is shielded from the complexities of performing these operations through the use of high level function calls.


Code within the loop block is executed once for each record contained in each input file identified in setup(). A User-obscured global data structure is created for each record, populated with the fieldname and field value pairs found. All functions within the loop block reference this structure. Once the record has been processed it is reset to empty, ready to be populated with the fields from the next record.

Other than maintaining a count of input and output records and maintaining file or memory pointers for any reference files, there is no state within the code block. This allows for processing of undefinably large volumes of input, restricted only by the memory requirements for holding one single record at a time.

Code within the loop block is generally fault tollerant. For example, function references to field names that are non-existant in the input result in the calling function failing gracefully (This allows for the successful processing of files that have different fields - where not all of the fields in one are present in the other).

Loop functions tend to fall into one of three categories:

Sample code can be found in the ./example_code directory, together with sample data in ./input and results in ./output. This may aid with the learning process.

A brief description of the utilities/files produced by the included Makefile can be found in ./docs/Manifest.md. See INITIAL INSTALL section below.



  1. cd into your $HOME directory

  2. Clone the repository using git clone https://github.com/wicked-rainman/DAPL.git. This should create a directory named “DAPL”.

  3. cd into $HOME/DAPL/src

  4. As root, run ./Configure to make sure system dependancies are present. GCC and Graphviz are critical for DAPL. Openssl-dev is needed for the sslcat and abuseipdb standalone utilities, detox, dos2unix and the perl script msgconvert are needed for any E-mail processing.

  5. exit root and as a user run make. You shouldn’t see any errors, but you will see a few warning messages about unused variables (These variables have been intentional left for any future debugging purposes and do no harm).

  6. DAPL can be run as a client or as a server. For the client install, runsudo make Client or for the server (if you are happy with what actions it is going to perform),sudo make Server. If you plan to have a complete client and server install, repeat step 5 again before running the next make Server or make Client.

  7. After a server install, use systemctl to start and enable gasnd.service, gdnsd.service, grdnsd.service, ghistory.service and gcountryd.service as required. Ensure that the TCP ports specified in the bash scripts gasnd, gdnsd, grdnsd, gcountryd and ghistoryd (/usr/local/sbin) are allowed through any firewall. (Note that some of these scripts also have BASH variables that point to data reference files - they will almost certainly have to be modified to suit your filesystem).

  8. In a client install, Edit $HOME/.bashrc, and add these BASH variables:

     WHITE_FILE=$HOME/DAPL/Reference/whitelist.csv; export WHITE_FILE
     ASN_FILE=$HOME/DAPL/Reference/asn.csv; export ASN_FILE
     COUNTRY_FILE=$HOME/DAPL/Reference/country.csv; export COUNTRY_FILE
     GDNS_PORT=32481; export GDNS_PORT
     GASN_PORT=32482; export GASN_PORT
     GRDNS_PORT=32484; export GRDNS_PORT
     GSERVER=; export GSERVER

The ASN_FILE, COUNTRY_FILE and WHITE_FILE files are used within DAPL (functions add_asn(), add_country() and whitelist() ) for local resolution and provide non-server related answers.

DAPL functions socketadd_asn() socketadd_country() and socketadd_history() will resolve answers through the related server ports. DAPL functions socketadd_dns() and socketadd_rdns() have not been written yet, (see open issues) although Standalone utilities gdns grdns reference these other ports.

  1. Create any user programs in $HOME/DAPL/progs. To compile each program, use the command: gcc -Ofast prog.c ../lib/libdapl.a -o progname for files conaining single line “CSV” type records, or gcc -Ofast prog.c ../lib/libeml.a -o progname to utilise the E-mail conversion handler

  2. On a client, any additional reference files you make should reside in $HOME/DAPL/Reference.

  3. On a Server, DNS related files must all be built from scratch using the DNS related scripts in sbin - dns_auth_update() and rdns_update(). Have a look in the ./docs directory for a bit of steerage.