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HP OpenVMS DCL Dictionary

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If you enter the /OUTPUT qualifier with a partial file specification (for example, /OUTPUT=[VAKHRAMEEV]), TYPE is the default file name and .LIS the default file type. The file specification cannot include the asterisk (*) and the percent sign (%) wildcard characters.

If you enter the /NOOUTPUT qualifier, output is suppressed.

The /OUTPUT qualifier is incompatible with the /PAGE qualifier.


/NOPAGE (default)

Controls the display of information on the screen.

You can use the following keywords with the /PAGE qualifier:

CLEAR_SCREEN Clears the screen before each page is displayed.
SCROLL Displays information one line at a time.
SAVE[= n] Enables screen navigation of information, where n is the number of pages to store.

The /PAGE=SAVE qualifier allows you to navigate through screens of information. The /PAGE=SAVE qualifier stores up to 5 screens of up to 255 columns of information. When you use the /PAGE=SAVE qualifier, you can use the following keys to navigate through the information:

Key Sequence Description
Up arrow key, Ctrl/B Scroll up one line.
Down arrow key Scroll down one line.
Left arrow key Scroll left one column.
Right arrow key Scroll right one column.
Find (E1) Specify a string to find when the information is displayed.
Insert Here (E2) Scroll right one half screen.
Remove (E3) Scroll left one half screen.
Select (E4) Toggle 80/132 column mode.
Prev Screen (E5) Get the previous page of information.
Next Screen (E6), Return, Enter, Space Get the next page of information.
F10, Ctrl/Z Exit. (Some utilities define these differently.)
Help (F15) Display utility help text.
Do (F16) Toggle the display to oldest/newest page.
Ctrl/W Refresh the display.
N Display the next file (when more than one file is specified with the TYPE command)
Q Quit displaying output from the TYPE command.

The /PAGE qualifier is not compatible with the /OUTPUT qualifier.


Use with the /PAGE=SAVE qualifier to specify a string that you want to find in the information being displayed. Quotation marks are required for the /SEARCH qualifier, if you include spaces in the text string.

You can also dynamically change the search string by pressing the Find key (E1) while the information is being displayed. Quotation marks are not required for a dynamic search.


Selects only those files dated on or after the specified time. You can specify time as absolute time, as a combination of absolute and delta times, or as one of the following keywords: BOOT, LOGIN, TODAY (default), TOMORROW, or YESTERDAY. Specify one of the following qualifiers with the /SINCE qualifier to indicate the time attribute to be used as the basis for selection: /BACKUP, /CREATED (default), /EXPIRED, or /MODIFIED.

For complete information on specifying time values, refer to the OpenVMS User's Manual or the online help topic DCL_Tips (subtopic Date_Time).


Specifies the file name format for display purposes while typing files.

The valid keywords for this qualifier are CONDENSED and EXPANDED. Descriptions are as follows:

Keyword Explanation
CONDENSED (default) Displays the file name representation of what is generated to fit into a 255-length character string. This file name may contain a DID or FID abbreviation in the file specification.
EXPANDED Displays the file name representation of what is stored on disk. This file name does not contain any DID or FID abbreviations.

The keywords CONDENSED and EXPANDED are mutually exclusive. This qualifier specifies which file name format is displayed in the output message, along with the confirmation if requested.

File errors are displayed with the CONDENSED file specification unless the EXPANDED keyword is specified.

Refer to the OpenVMS User's Manual for more information.


Displays the last several lines of a log file. The value, n, defaults to p-2 where p is the current terminal page length. You can use TYPE/TAIL only if all of the following criteria are true:
  • File organization is sequential.
  • The longest record is less than 512 bytes.
  • The record format is either VAR, VFC, STM, STRCM or STMLF (for more information, refer to the description of FAB$B_RFM in the OpenVMS Record Management Services Reference Manual).
  • The file being typed is on a device that supports random access. The TYPE/TAIL command does not work on magnetic tape drives.

Even with this criteria, some file conditions cannot be anticipated and may not allow display of the last several lines of a log file, resulting in the following error message:

-SYSTEM-E-UNSUPPORTED, unsupported operation or function


/NOWRAP (default)

Use with the /PAGE=SAVE qualifier to limit the number of columns to the width of the screen and to wrap lines that extend beyond the width of the screen to the next line.

The /NOWRAP qualifier extends lines beyond the width of the screen and can be seen when you use the scrolling (left and right) features provided by the /PAGE=SAVE qualifier.





In this example, the TYPE command requests that the file COMMON.DAT be displayed at the terminal.


This is the first line in the file AA.DAT.
This is the first line in the file BB.DAT.


In this example, the TYPE command contains an asterisk (*) wildcard character in place of the file name. All files with file types of .DAT are scheduled for display. When Ctrl/O is pressed, output of the current file stops and the TYPE command begins displaying the next file. The Ctrl/Y function interrupts the command; the STOP command terminates the TYPE command.


December 14, 2002

 14-DEC-2002 15:48:07
Sincerely yours,

In this example, the TYPE command displays all files whose names begin with the word LETTER and have the file type .MEM. While the files are being displayed, the user presses Ctrl/Y to interrupt the TYPE operation and to display the time. After entering the SHOW TIME command, the user enters the CONTINUE command to resume the TYPE operation.



In this example, the TYPE command writes all TXT files in your default directory to a file called SAVETEXT.TXT (also in your default directory).



In this example, the TYPE command requests that the file NOTICE.TEXT at remote node MEXICO be written to the output file TEMP.TEXT on the local node, rather than to SYS$OUTPUT.



        VAX/VMS Interactive Users
           14-DEC-2002 17:20:13.30
    Total number of interactive users = 5
 Username     Process Name      PID     Terminal
 MIRANDA      Sec1           00536278   TXA1:
 JESSICA      Sec2           00892674   VTA2:
 EMILY        Sec3           00847326   TXA3:
 ANDREW       Sec4           02643859   RTA1:
 BRIAN        System Mangr   00007362   VTA1:


In this example, the TYPE command executes the command procedure SHOWUSERS.COM found in the SYS$LOGIN directory of user FILES on remote node SECSSYS. The output of the TYPE command then is displayed at the local node.


Invokes the CDA Viewer, which has a character-cell interface for viewing text files and an DECwindows Motif for OpenVMS interface for viewing compound documents and files containing graphics, images, and tabular data.

For more information about the VIEW command, refer to online help.


The DEC CDA Base Services for DECwindows Motif for OpenVMS must be installed to use new versions of the CDA Viewer and DEC CDA Base Services converters.


VIEW [input-file]


Places a process into a wait state for the specified amount of time. The WAIT command is used in a command procedure to delay processing of either the procedure itself or a set of commands in the procedure.


WAIT delta-time



Specifies a delta time interval in the following format. (A delta time is an offset from the current time to a time in the future.)


The fields on the format line indicate the following:

hour Specifies an integer in the range 0 to 23.
minute Specifies an integer in the range 0 to 59.
second Specifies an integer in the range 0 to 59.
hundredth Specifies an integer in the range 0 to 99.

The colons (:) and period (.) are required delimiters; also, the delta time must begin with the number of hours and not a colon. Note that the days field, usually included in the delta time format, must be omitted here.

For more information on specifying delta time values, refer to the OpenVMS User's Manual or the online help topic DCL_Tips (subtopic Date_Time).

Note that if you enter the WAIT command interactively, you are not prompted for a time value; however, in order for the command to have any effect, you must supply a time value.


If you enter the WAIT command interactively, your current process is placed in a wait state and you cannot enter any more commands until the waiting period is over. (You can, however, receive unsolicited messages from other processes.) Press Ctrl/C or Ctrl/Y to restore normal terminal interaction.


$ WAIT 00:10

In this example, the command procedure executes the program image KUDOS. After the RUN command executes the program, the WAIT command delays execution of the GOTO command for 10 minutes. Note that 00 is specified for the number of hours, because the time specification cannot begin with a colon. After 10 minutes, the GOTO command executes, and the procedure transfers control to the label LOOP and executes the program KUDOS again. The procedure loops until it is interrupted or terminated.

If the procedure is executed interactively, terminate it by pressing Ctrl/C or Ctrl/Y and by entering the STOP command or another DCL command that runs a new image in the process. If the procedure is executed in a batch job, enter the DELETE/ENTRY command to terminate it.


Writes the specified data as one record to an open file specified by a logical name.

All qualifiers must precede all data item expressions.


WRITE logical-name expression[,...]



Specifies the logical name assigned to the output file. Use the logical name assigned by the OPEN command. In interactive mode, specify the process-permanent files identified by the logical names SYS$INPUT, SYS$OUTPUT, SYS$ERROR, and SYS$COMMAND. (The OPEN command assigns a logical name to a file and places the name in the process logical name table.)


Specifies data to be written as a single record to the output file. You can specify data items using character string expressions, which may be symbol names, character strings in quotation marks (" "), literal numeric values, or a lexical function. For more information on string expressions, refer to the OpenVMS User's Manual.

You can specify a list of expressions separated by commas (,); the command interpreter concatenates the items into one record and writes the record to the output file.

The maximum size of any record that can be written is less than 1024 bytes, and the value of any symbol that is specified as part of a record cannot exceed 255 characters; however, if you specify the /SYMBOL qualifier, the maximum record size is 2048 bytes and the value of a symbol can exceed 255 characters.


The WRITE command can write records to sequential, relative, or indexed files that have been opened for writing. When the WRITE command writes a record, it always positions the record pointer after the record just written.

To write to a file, the file must be opened by using either the /WRITE or the /APPEND qualifier with the OPEN command; however, the process-permanent files identified by the logical names SYS$INPUT, SYS$OUTPUT, SYS$ERROR, and SYS$COMMAND do not have to be opened explicitly to be written to.

If you do not specify the /SYMBOL qualifier, DCL places the command and the complete string expression (expanded if it was specified as one or more symbols) in a 1024-byte buffer. If you specify the /SYMBOL qualifier, DCL interprets the symbol or symbols and places the expanded string in a separate 2048-byte buffer, and then performs the write operation. For this reason, use the /SYMBOL qualifier where the record contains approximately 1000 bytes or more.



Transfers control on an I/O error to the location specified by label (in a command procedure). If no error routine is specified and an error occurs during the writing of the file, the current ON condition action is taken. The /ERROR qualifier overrides any ON condition action specified. If an error occurs and control passes successfully to the target label, the reserved global symbol $STATUS retains the error code.


Causes the expression to be interpreted and its expanded value placed in a 2048-byte (instead of a 1024-byte) buffer before the write operation is performed. If you specify multiple expressions, their values are concatenated and placed in the 2048-byte buffer. Use the /SYMBOL qualifier to write a very large record.

Each expression specified must be a symbol. You cannot specify character string expressions (that is, strings in quotation marks) with the /SYMBOL qualifier.

If you do not use the /SYMBOL qualifier, the entire command, including the expression or expressions, is placed in a 1024-byte buffer.


Replaces the last record read with the record specified with the expression parameter. You must be able to read and write to a file to use the /UPDATE qualifier. Use the WRITE/UPDATE command only after a READ command. The WRITE/UPDATE command modifies the last record you have read.

With sequential files, you must replace a record with another record of the same size when you use the WRITE/UPDATE command.



$ WRITE SYS$OUTPUT "Beginning second phase of tests"

The WRITE command writes a single line of text to the current output device.



In this example, the OPEN/APPEND command opens the file PLAN.DAT at the remote node TRNTO and positions the pointer at the end of the file. The WRITE command writes a record to the end of the file PLAN.DAT.


$ INQUIRE ID "Assign Test-id Number"
$ !
$ !
$ !
$ WRITE SYS$OUTPUT "There was a WRITE error."

In this example, the OPEN command opens the file TESTFILE.DAT; the INQUIRE command requests an identification number to be assigned to a particular run of the procedure. The number entered is equated to the symbol ID. The WRITE commands write a text line concatenated with the symbol name ID and a blank line.

The lines between the label WRITE_LOOP and END_LOOP process information and write additional data to the file. When the processing is finished, control is transferred to the label END_LOOP. The CLOSE and PRINT commands at this label close the output file and queue a copy of the file to the system printer.

The label WRITE_ERROR is used as the target of the /ERROR qualifier to the WRITE command; if an error occurs when a record is being written, control is transferred to the label WRITE_ERROR.



This example assumes that the symbols A, B, and C have already been defined. The OPEN/APPEND command opens the file [LAMPERT]TESTING.DAT and positions the pointer at the end of the file. The WRITE/SYMBOL command concatenates the values of the symbols A, B, and C and writes this data to a new record at the end of the file.

XAUTH (Alpha Only)

Invokes the X Authority utility (xauth) that you can use to manage the contents of one or more X authority files. The X authority file contains information used to authorize client connections to the X display server.

This utility is typically used to extract authorization records from one system and combine them with the records on another system, such as when granting access to additional users or enabling remote logins. The actual record entries vary depending on the authorization scheme currently in use.

In contrast to other X Window System utilities that are available with DECwindows Motif, xauth is included as a part of OpenVMS Alpha operating system. The xauth commands are case-insensitive and available directly from the DCL command line, xauth command line, or from a batch file.

For a complete description of xauth, refer to the DECwindows Motif documentation (available on the Documentation CD-ROM) or the xauth online help.


XAUTH [-f authfile] [-options...] [command]

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