The Question is:
I always thought that an unterminated DCL command line (ie: $ with nothing else
on the line) was 'unfavoured' and was going to be unsupported at some stage.
Then I got my out-of-the-box 7.3 system and found that the template command
files in sys$manager
have exactly this in them! Can you shed any words of wisdom on this?
The Answer is :
A record within a DCL command procedure file containing the $ character
(and potentially whitespace characters) can and should be accepted as a
null DCL command, and this should be (better) documented. Examples of
the use of a command procedure line containing solely the $ character
abound throughout the OpenVMS documentation set, though related wording
within the user's guide does not explicitly call out this particular
This record is differentiated from a record containing only whitespace
(or a blank record; containing no characters), which can and should be
interpreted as input data intended for use by the immediately preceeding
This particular construct is quite commonly used throughout OpenVMS and
throughout many customer applications to format a DCL command procedure
for improved readability and easier support.
The OpenVMS Wizard will pass a suggestion along for inclusion into a
future edition of the OpenVMS User's Manual. This update will not be
included in the OpenVMS V7.3-1 documentation set, nor is the OpenVMS
Wizard in a position to state which particular future release of the
OpenVMS documentation set will include this particular improvement.