Faast-3 Reference Manual Addendum # 6 (html edition)

Faast-3 File Paths and Command Line Switches

(insert this addendum into your reference manual)

Effective with Release 3.3L

I. Overview

When Faast-3 starts a session, it searches for several files and creates additional files. These start-up file actions happen before processing any regular Faast commands, so regular Faast commands do not alter the start-up file actions. This Addendum discusses these actions, and how you may control both names and paths, by means of Environment Variables (Section III) and Command Line Switches (Section IV).

II. Standard Actions

When Faast-3 starts a session, it searches for a CONFIGURATION file, a LICENSE VALIDATION file, and a HELP file. Faast also creates a LIST file (used for both LIST and RESULTS) and a RERUN file. After these start-up file actions are done, Faast reads the configuration file (if one was found) and then executes any commands that you placed on the command line.

To the extent possible, these standard file actions are identical on various computer systems. Faast will search for files in the following standard sequence:
 (1) search the local directory, 
 (2) search the environment variable directory, if any (see below), 
 (3) search the directory from which the Faast program was run, if known, 
 (4) search the directories named in the global path, if any.  
Faast creates files in the directory path specified by the F3DATA environment variable, if defined, otherwise in the local directory.

III. File Paths and Environment Variables.

You may specify the directory paths (but not file names) used for the start-up file actions by setting one or more of the following environment variables. You set an environment variable by using appropriate operating system commands (SET or SETENV or whatever may apply to your computer system).
 F3HELP    points to a path for  f3license.val  and  f3help.hlp,
 F3CFG     points to a path for  f3cfg.cfg, and 
 F3DATA    points to a path for reading and/or creating data files. 
Note that you may change the path indicated by the F3DATA environment variable by using the SETUP command during a Faast session. Changing the F3DATA path does not change residence of files already opened or created.

On unix, the tilde (~) character is expanded by substituting the HOME environment variable character string for the tilde.

  set   f3data=c:\faast3\proj22
In this example (from a PC) the default location of data files is specified as the following directory: c:\faast3\proj22 which must already exist.

IV. File Names and Command Line Switches.

Command-line switches may be used on the Faast-3 command line to change file names (and optionally paths) used at the beginning of a session.

A. Switch Syntax. Faast command-line switches are a hyphen or dash character ( - ) followed immediately by a switch letter (no space between the dash and the switch letter), followed by a file name argument. The switch letter is not case-sensitive. File name arguments may be case-sensitive on some computer systems. Available switches are:
Switch  Argument      Action 
------  --------      ------------------------------------------------- 
-V      license.fil   Change full name of LICENSE file to license.fil   
-C      config.fil    Change full name of CONFIG file to  config.fil    
-H      helpfil       Change name of HELP file to         helpfil.hlp    
-L      listfile      Change base name of LIST file to    listfile.lst  
-R      rrunfile      Change base name of RERUN file to   rrunfile.cmd  
If the switch letter is missing (- by itself) or unrecognizable, then Faast displays the command line switch syntax (similar to the table above) and quits.

File names on switches may optionally include paths (including disk drive designators), but may not be paths or drive designators without file names. If a path is found on a switch, then standard path and search/creation sequence for that file is overridden, and if a search for the file on that switch fails, no further search is made (the standard search sequence described under Section II, above, is not done for that file).

For the license and configuration files, there are no default file name extensions and you should include the file name extension (if any) with the file name. For the other files, default extensions will be overriden by extensions on switches.

The term "base name" means a file name that will be altered if necessary, when creating a file, so as to create a unique file name and not overwrite an existing file.

Note that the LIST and RERUN file names may also be changed within a session by means of the FILE command. However, since the FILE command is processed within a session, the LIST and RERUN files will already have been created, and the new LIST file will not contain the normal start-of-session header messages. By changing the LIST file name with a command line switch, the LIST file is created with both the specified name and the header messages.

B. Example. The following example illustrates using a command-line switch to change the base name of the LIST file.
  faast3    -l proj37  read  proj37a
In this example, the LIST file base name is changed to proj37.lst after which the data file proj37a.cmd is read by Faast. Note that the file name extensions .lst and .cmd are implied, subject to computer system conventions.

C. Diagnostics. If Faast is unable to recognize a switch, or if only the hyphen or dash (-) character is found then Faast displays the table of available switches and quits.

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