START - Set Initial File Position Option

Syntax


START

[ FIRST | LAST | PRIOR | LABEL | NEW ]


Operands


FIRST

The edit file is positioned to line 1 when opened, the same as occurs with TOP or LOCATE .ZFIRST.


LAST

The edit file is positioned to the last line of the file when opened, the same as occurs with BOTTOM or LOCATE .ZLAST.


PRIOR

PRIOR requires STATE to be set ON.


When START PRIOR is in effect, the edit file is positioned to the position where the file was located in the most recent edit session.  If the file has not been edited before or does not (yet) have STATE information stored for it, the action is the same as STATE FIRST.


LABEL

LABEL requires STATE to be set ON.


When START LABEL is in effect, the edit file is positioned to a predefined label name of .START if such a label exists, as if the command LOCATE .START had been issued after the file is first opened.   If the file has not been edited before, does not (yet) have STATE information stored for it, or does not have  a predefined label name of .START, the action is the same as STATE FIRST.  The command START LABEL cannot be issued if STATE OFF is in effect.  If STATE ON is issued, then START LABEL, then STATE OFF, the START LABEL setting is retained but ignored until such time as STATE ON is in effect.  The label .START must be manually set by the user to any desired line location.


NEW

NEW requires STATE to be set ON.


When START NEW is in effect, the edit file is positioned to a predefined label name of .START if such a label exists, as if the command LOCATE .START had been issued after the file is first opened.   If the file has not been edited before, does not (yet) have STATE information stored for it, or does not have  a predefined label name of .START, the action is the same as STATE FIRST.  The command START NEW cannot be issued if STATE OFF is in effect.  If STATE ON is issued, then START NEW, then STATE OFF, the START NEW setting is retained but ignored until such time as STATE ON is in effect.  The label .START is automatically placed into the last line of the file when closed.


When START is issued with no operands, a message is displayed that shows the current setting of the START option.


Description


The START primary command is used to specify where an edit file is to be first positioned when opened.  If the specific location is not important, a setting of PRIOR or FIRST may be appropriate.  Other choices are detailed above.  


Note: START PRIOR, START LABEL and START NEW require STATE ON to be effect before you issue one of these START commands.  However, the installation DEFAULT profile for STATE is OFF.  If you are going to use these START options on a regular basis, you may wish to modify the DEFAULT profile so that any newly created profiles have the STATE and START settings you prefer.


See Working with File Profiles for more information about the DEFAULT profile.


Special Processing for START NEW


The intent of START NEW is to provide a means of opening a file and locating a point in the file where “new” information has been written to the file from an external process outside of SPFLite.  For example, suppose a file was being used as a SYSOUT spool file as written by the Hercules emulator.  By setting the START option to NEW, each time “new” information is appended to the end of the SYSOUT file, you can (re)open the file in SPFLite, and it will automatically position the file to the last location that you knew about previously, based on the last known location of the label .START, which SPFLite has stored into the file for you.  Then, after you have seen the file and closed it, the .START label will get automatically (re)positioned to the last physical line of the file, as of that time.  After more data gets written to the end of the file, the process can be repeated.  


By using START NEW, you no longer need to manually search for where the most recently-added data lines are (somewhere) near the end of the file, because SPFLite will automatically take you to the exact location you need to be in.


It is expected that many users (especially user of Hercules) will combine STATE ON, START NEW, and EOL AUTO or AUTONL to allow easy viewing of SYSOUT files.


Note about ISPF START


In IBM ISPF, the START command starts a dialog in a new logical screen.  The SPFLite START command, as described above, performs a completely different and unrelated function.


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