Inside VESOFT #01 (The VECSL)
Shawn Gordon

As though I didn’t have enough to do. I ran into Vladimir at HP World and we were talking about VESOFT (what else) and he thought it would be a neat idea to have a column that talked about tips and techniques with the various VESOFT products. I’ve been a heavy user for 13 years or so, and even worked for VESOFT for a short while about 8 years ago.

Anyway I brought it up to Ron and he thought it was a great idea. We are initially looking at doing this every other month, so we will see how it goes. I’m going to try to focus on somem of the more esoteric functions or features of the various products and show you how they might be useful. I don’t want to get into huge command file examples, but I will show small ones that illustrate technique. As always I am totally open to getting input from you folks, it helps me learn too.

So for this inaugural issue I think I will talk about the VECSL. The VECSL is the Constributed Software Library for VESOFT. These are user contributed command files and command files that were developed by VESOFT employees. It also includes all the articles written by VESOFT employees (mostly Eugene) over the years. Here is the account structure:

   /GROUP       COUNT    LIMIT  
VECSL           11312       **  
   /CMD           528       **  
   /DOC            32       **  
   /EBOOK        9952       **  
   /JOB           224       **  
   /LISTF         224       **  
   /MENU           64       **  
   /MPEX           64       **  
   /PUB            80       **  
   /SECURITY       64       **  
   /VEAUDIT        80       **

The CMD group has some cute MPEX command files, the DBGRAPH one is especially fun, it just has one quirk, you only need to specify the root file to get the graph, don’t use a wild card. Now some of these are “expression” programs which is Eugenes Pascal derivitive used to implement functions in MPEX (more on that in another column), and others are standard command files. I would just do a print of all of them and read the comments to see if you might have a need (this is true for all the groups.

DOC only has a manual for PSCREEN, not sure why it’s in there. EBOOK is a lot of fun, these are the articles I was talking about, it’s also got a copy of Eugenes magnum opus on language comparisons from about 10 years ago. This thing clocks in at over 10,000 lines, but is a fascinating read. There is also a good one that’s pretty current from Paul Taffel on Posix that I always find helpful. These files are pretty interesting, the only real problem is how old most of them are now. This stuff was gold when it first came out, but some of it isn’t worth a lot anymore. You should browse through them all though and you will no doubt learn something.

JOB has some nice examples of STREAMX processing, I would personally like to see some more examples here (I guess I should submit some and stop complaining). The LISTF group of course has custom LISTF format templtes. I have two favorites here, the N33 one and the QEDIT one. The N33 shows all the data time data for files, it’s a variation on the mode 3 listf. The QEDIT one is one I wrote when I worked at VESOFT and is designed to read out the file label of a QEDIT file and tell you the actual information, so it looks something like this:

FILENAME  ---LOGICAL RECORD---   -------BLOCKS-------   ----SPACE----
           SIZE   TYPE   LINES    USED    MAX   %FULL   SECTORS #X MX

XYZ         74B   COBX   32224    2393   9109   26.3%      4800  1  *

The only downside to this is it has to FOPEN the file and it will update the access date and time of the file.

MENU really needs an infusion of new life. There are several interesting examples of using some sophisticated techniques, again I should probably submit something. The MPEX group has some real gems in it, especially illustrating date formatting and math, definitly worth a look.

The SECURITY group has two excellent examples of things to put in your SECURCON file. I wish I could remember all the cutesy things I did years ago so I could submit it, but these are a good place to start to get the juices flowing.

The VEAUDIT group has some excellent VEAUDIT examples, I’ve got a couple I’m getting ready to send in myself. A lot of people still don’t realize that VEAUDIT can manipulate accounting structure as well as report the security flaws. I’m going to touch heavely on this product in future columns. Check these out and see what you think.

My purpose in pointing out the VECSL is two fold. One is to get you to use it, and the second is to get you to contribute to it. It’s automatically installed with every copy of MPEX/SECURITY/VEAUDIT, so take advantage of it.