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DCL: Blank Lines and Null Commands?

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The Question is:

Greetings Wizard!
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?
Many Thanks!

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.

answer written or last revised on ( 31-JUL-2002 )

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