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Description of XBROWSE

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XBROWSE Documentation

XBROWSE Documentation

From Paul S. Whitmer:

XBROWSE - Version 4.68 - Last updated 03/05/2009 at 12:20:47 (c) Copyright International Business Machines Corporation 2008. All Rights Reserved.

XBROWSE is intended to be a functional replacement for VM BROWSE and PEEK. It is written in REXX, and is provided as a compiled REXX program in CMS module form (as XBROWSE MODULE). It does not rely on XEDIT (like PEEK does), but instead uses the CMS VSCREEN, WINDOW and PSCREEN commands. If your version of CMS does not support these functions, then XBROWSE simply will not work. XBROWSE was originally developed on z/VM 5.1 and z/VM 5.2, and has been tested on z/VM 5.3. XBROWSE may work fine on older versions of VM, but no testing or debugging can be done on older versions of VM, since I do not have access to any versions older than z/VM 5.2.

When processing spool files (from the VM RDR), XBROWSE reads spool files directly into CMS free storage. XBROWSE does NOT load the entire spool file into storage (like PEEK does via XEDIT), but instead creates an in-storage index of the spool file, and then retrieves spool file blocks (4K at a time). It therefore allows you to browse extremely large spool files that you would otherwise not be able to browse with PEEK due to virtual storage constraints.

As a file browser (CMS and SFS files), it has numerous advantages over browse. It automatically adjusts to different screen sizes. Screen sizes up to 76 rows by 212 columns have been tested, but it should work well with any screen size. It has built-in help (PF1), and is very fast when dealing with large files.

In addition to its BROWSE-like functions, it will also decode CMS MACLIBs, showing you an ISPF-like directory list of the macros in the MACLIB, allowing you to select a particular macro for browsing. It also has a RAW option (at program invocation) that will instruct XBROWSE not to decode MACLIBs. In that event, XBROWSE will treat the file like any other CMS or SFS file.


Here is a list of the current features and commands that XBROWSE supports:

BAckwardGo backward (up) one full screen page
BOTtomGo to the last line of the file
BUFfer nnnSet retrieve buffer depth (default: CP size)
CAse Ignore | RespectIgnore or respect mixed case during LOCATE
CLear .name | ALLClear user-defined label name or ALL
COLumn nnnnnGo to a specific column in the file
CMS commandPass a command to CMS for execution
CP commandPass a command to CP for execution
Down nnnnnGo down (forward) nnnnn lines (default: 1)
EXTtrap ON | MIN | OFFControl trapping of external output by XBROWSE
Find | Locate | /Locate a string of characters in the file going forward from the current file row and column location
-Find | -Locate | -/Locate a string of characters in the file going backward from the current file row and column location
FOrwardGo forward (down) one full screen page
Goto .nameReposition file pointer to a user-defined label
HELp (or PF1)Displays this screen
HEX ON | OFFTurn on/off HEX display of data
INDEXsave ON | OFFTurn on/off saving of spool file index records
LAbel .name rrrr ccccDefine a label at the current Row/Column or as defined
LEftShift colums left one full screen
LIne nnnnnGo to a specific record in the file
MAXLeft | MLShift display back to column 1
MAXRight | MRShift display to show last column
Next nnnnnGo down (forward) nnnnn lines (default: 1)
NUMbers ON | OFFTurn ON/OFF line numbers in the prefix area
PREFix Left | Right | OffDisplay prefix area on Left/Right or OFF
Prefix area subcommands:
/ Move line to the top of the screen
.name Assign a user-defined label to this line
PREVious nnnnnGo up (backward) nnnnn lines (default: 1)
QQ | QUit | EXitEnd XBROWSE session
RESUMEidxResume build of a previously interrupted index build
RIghtShift colums right one full screen
SAVEDays nn (1 to 60)Sets retention period for user-defined labels
SAvelabel TEMP | KEEPDefines labels as temporary or permanent
SEttingsDisplay current persistent and temporary settings
SHowlabsDisplay current user-defined labels
TopGo to the first line of the file
Up nnnnnGo up (backward) nnnnn lines (default: 1)
?Retrieve last commamnd (also PF6)
.nameReposition file pointer to a user-defined label
=Repeat the last command



The XBROWSE package consists of a single VMARC file (XBROWSE VMARC), which contains:

XBROWSE MODULE XBROWSE executable
XBROWSE HELPCMS The XBROWSE Help file
PROFFLST MODXEDIT A modified PROFFLST XEDIT macro that defines PF10 for XBROWSE
PROFRLST MODXEDIT A modified PROFRLST XEDIT macro that uses XBROWSE in place of PEEK
FULIST $PROFILE A modified FULIST $PROFILE that uses XBROWSE in place of BROWSE for FULIST
FULRDR $PROFILE A modified FULRDR $PROFILE that uses XBROWSE in place of BROWSE for FULRDR
FLIST $PROFILE A modified FLIST $PROFILE that uses XBROWSE in place of BROWSE for FLIST

I recommend that you test XBROWSE yourself for suitability, and once you are satisfied that it will work for you, put it onto your MAINT 192 disk (usually the VM tools disk). The help file (XBROWSE HELPCMS) should be put onto the MAINT 19D disk (usually accessed by everyone a the Z-disk).

If you intend to use the modified XEDIT macros, please remember that you do so at your own risk. To apply them, rename them from MODXEDIT to XEDIT. Make sure to SAVE your original PROFFLST and PROFRLST XEDIT macros first. To activate them, you must either rebuild the CMSINST shared segment so that they get included there, or for individual users, you can issue an EXECDROP PROFFLST XEDIT (SHARED and an EXECDROP PROFRLST XEDIT (SHARED, followed by an EXECLOAD PROFFLST XEDIT fm (SYSTEM PUSH and an EXECLOAD PROFRLST XEDIT fm (SYSTEM PUSH, where fm is the filemode of the minidisk where the modified and renamed PROFFLST and PROFRLST XEDIT macros have been stored. I cannot and will not debug problems you may encounter using the modified XEDIT macros. If you have problems with them, do not use them.

No warranty is expressed or implied for any part of this distribution. By using XBROWSE or any of its components, you are agreeing to these terms. The author will not be held accountable for any damages resulting from the use of XBROWSE or any of its components.

Thank you for using XBROWSE. Please report any bugs or other problems with XBROWSE to Paul S. Whitmer.

Have fun and happy XBROWSE-ing!



XBROWSE Changelog:
Version 4.68 - 03/05/09Repaired problem with GLOBALV writes - temporarily accesses first R/W disk as A-Disk for GLOBLALV write.
Version 4.54 - 01/06/09File header for SPOOL files was overflowing available screen space on 132 Column screens - fixed.
Version 4.52 - 01/06/09Repaired errors in CASE IGNORE and EXTTRAP ON code
Version 4.50 - 11/26/08Cleaned up handling of GLOBALV variables, plus miscellaneous minor fixes
Version 4.46 - 11/24/08Prevented RESUMEIDX command issued from a CMS/SFS file from crashing XBROWSE
Version 4.44 - 11/24/08Corrected errors in MACLIB directory searching and MACLIB directory goto BOTTOM function
Added VSCREEN and WINDOW cleanup in the event of a crash
Version 4.40 - 11/18/08Repaired problem with RDRINDEX cleanup processing that could cause a crash of XBROWSE
Version 4.38 - 11/12/08Repaired problem with the NUMBERS feature - Input now accepts NUMBERS, not just NUM
Version 4.36 - 11/11/08Implemented two new features: NUMBERS ON/OFF and PREFIX OFF