[Python-Dev] empty string api for files

François Pinard pinard at iro.umontreal.ca
Mon Aug 29 01:05:25 CEST 2005

[Steve Holden]

> Terry Reedy wrote:

> > This was once a standard paradigm for IBM mainframe files.  I
> > vaguely remember having to specify the block/record size when
> > opening such files.  I have no idea of today's practice though.

> Indeed. Something like:


Oh!  The "*" is pretty magical, and came from HASP (Houston Automatic
Spooling Program, if I remember well), and not from IBM.  It took a
lot of years before IBM even acknowledged the existence of HASP (in
dark times when salesmen and engineers ought to strictly obey company
mandated attitudes).  Nevertheless, almost every IBM customer was
installing HASP under the scene, because without the "*", people ought
to specify on their DD cards the preallocation of disk space, even
for spool files, as a number of cylinders and sectors for the primary
extent, and a number of cylinders and sectors for all secondary extents.
I later learned that IBM gave in, including HASP facilities as standard.

> People used to solve generic programming problems in JCL just for the
> hell of it.

The hell is the right word to describe it! :-) I wonder if JCL could
emulate a Turing Machine, but it at least addressed the Halting Problem!

                    One-who-happily-forgot-all-bout-this-ly yours...

P.S. - How is this related to Python?  Luckily! -- that is: *not*! :-)

François Pinard   http://pinard.progiciels-bpi.ca

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