Discussion:
z/OS Symbols Question
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scott Ford
2017-09-27 22:28:04 UTC
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All:

I need to scan the symbol table for an assigned symbolic , I looked at
sys1.samplib -- IEASYMCK and macro ASASYMBM and i see that I can replace s
symbolic and its value. What I need to do is scan though the table to find
a symbol. I need some pointer to give me a helping hand.

I read through ASASYMBM and it seems you can pass a value and length but I
dont want to replace a symbol...

Any ideas ?


Regards,
--
*IDMWORKS *

Scott Ford

z/OS Dev.




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Kirk Wolf
2017-09-27 22:46:33 UTC
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Looking up the value of a symbol with ASASYMBM is a degenerate case:

just give it an input pattern of: "&THENAME"
and the output buffer will contain the value.


Kirk Wolf
Dovetailed Technologies
http://dovetail.com
Post by scott Ford
I need to scan the symbol table for an assigned symbolic , I looked at
sys1.samplib -- IEASYMCK and macro ASASYMBM and i see that I can replace s
symbolic and its value. What I need to do is scan though the table to find
a symbol. I need some pointer to give me a helping hand.
I read through ASASYMBM and it seems you can pass a value and length but I
dont want to replace a symbol...
Any ideas ?
Regards,
--
*IDMWORKS *
Scott Ford
z/OS Dev.
“By elevating a friend or Collegue you elevate yourself, by demeaning a
friend or collegue you demean yourself”
www.idmworks.com
Blog: www.idmworks.com/blog
*The information contained in this email message and any attachment may be
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scott Ford
2017-09-27 23:05:06 UTC
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Kirk,

Yeah, I just pulled open IBM Assembler Services and looked at ASASYMBM,
look like I can do that..
To see if the symbolic is defined or not..


Thank you

Scott
Post by Kirk Wolf
just give it an input pattern of: "&THENAME"
and the output buffer will contain the value.
Kirk Wolf
Dovetailed Technologies
http://dovetail.com
Post by scott Ford
I need to scan the symbol table for an assigned symbolic , I looked at
sys1.samplib -- IEASYMCK and macro ASASYMBM and i see that I can
replace s
Post by scott Ford
symbolic and its value. What I need to do is scan though the table to
find
Post by scott Ford
a symbol. I need some pointer to give me a helping hand.
I read through ASASYMBM and it seems you can pass a value and length but
I
Post by scott Ford
dont want to replace a symbol...
Any ideas ?
Regards,
--
*IDMWORKS *
Scott Ford
z/OS Dev.
“By elevating a friend or Collegue you elevate yourself, by demeaning a
friend or collegue you demean yourself”
www.idmworks.com
Blog: www.idmworks.com/blog
*The information contained in this email message and any attachment may
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Post by scott Ford
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Post by scott Ford
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Post by scott Ford
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Rob Schramm
2017-09-27 23:35:43 UTC
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In days of old there was a pointer to the beginning of the symbol table. I
remember finding it before the symbol Service became a full fledged Service.

Rob Schramm
Post by scott Ford
Kirk,
Yeah, I just pulled open IBM Assembler Services and looked at ASASYMBM,
look like I can do that..
To see if the symbolic is defined or not..
Thank you
Scott
Post by Kirk Wolf
just give it an input pattern of: "&THENAME"
and the output buffer will contain the value.
Kirk Wolf
Dovetailed Technologies
http://dovetail.com
Post by scott Ford
I need to scan the symbol table for an assigned symbolic , I looked at
sys1.samplib -- IEASYMCK and macro ASASYMBM and i see that I can
replace s
Post by scott Ford
symbolic and its value. What I need to do is scan though the table to
find
Post by scott Ford
a symbol. I need some pointer to give me a helping hand.
I read through ASASYMBM and it seems you can pass a value and length
but
Post by Kirk Wolf
I
Post by scott Ford
dont want to replace a symbol...
Any ideas ?
Regards,
--
*IDMWORKS *
Scott Ford
z/OS Dev.
“By elevating a friend or Collegue you elevate yourself, by demeaning a
friend or collegue you demean yourself”
www.idmworks.com
Blog: www.idmworks.com/blog
*The information contained in this email message and any attachment may
be
Post by scott Ford
privileged, confidential, proprietary or otherwise protected from
disclosure. If the reader of this message is not the intended
recipient,
Post by Kirk Wolf
Post by scott Ford
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or
Post by Kirk Wolf
Post by scott Ford
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Post by scott Ford
received this message in error, please notify us immediately by
replying
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to
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Tom Marchant
2017-09-28 17:10:24 UTC
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I need to scan the symbol table for an assigned symbolic...
ITYM you need to scan for an assigned symbol.

"Symbol" is a noun.
"Symbolic" is an adjective, as in "symbolic substitution".

</pedantry>
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Tom Marchant

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Paul Gilmartin
2017-09-28 17:57:02 UTC
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Post by Kirk Wolf
just give it an input pattern of: "&THENAME"
and the output buffer will contain the value.
Does the OP need a definite indication of whether "&THENAME" is
defined? Looking at the doc for ASASYMBM, I see no return code
with that meaning. (There is, however, RC=0C to indicate that
"&THENAME" is defined as the null string. Why?)

And a warning about the performance of LINK.
Post by Kirk Wolf
Post by scott Ford
I need to scan the symbol table for an assigned symbolic , I looked at
sys1.samplib -- IEASYMCK and macro ASASYMBM and i see that I can replace s
symbolic and its value. What I need to do is scan though the table to find
a symbol. I need some pointer to give me a helping hand.
I read through ASASYMBM and it seems you can pass a value and length but I
dont want to replace a symbol...
-- gil

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scott Ford
2017-09-28 18:26:05 UTC
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Gil,

That is what I need, I need to know if &THENAME is defined , we need to
query these symbolic names from an exist.
So I am trying cut down on overhead ...thank you Gil I missed that in the
macro. A new adventure is system's development.

Scott

On Thu, Sep 28, 2017 at 1:58 PM Paul Gilmartin <
Post by Paul Gilmartin
Post by Kirk Wolf
just give it an input pattern of: "&THENAME"
and the output buffer will contain the value.
Does the OP need a definite indication of whether "&THENAME" is
defined? Looking at the doc for ASASYMBM, I see no return code
with that meaning. (There is, however, RC=0C to indicate that
"&THENAME" is defined as the null string. Why?)
And a warning about the performance of LINK.
Post by Kirk Wolf
Post by scott Ford
I need to scan the symbol table for an assigned symbolic , I looked at
sys1.samplib -- IEASYMCK and macro ASASYMBM and i see that I can
replace s
Post by Kirk Wolf
Post by scott Ford
symbolic and its value. What I need to do is scan though the table to
find
Post by Kirk Wolf
Post by scott Ford
a symbol. I need some pointer to give me a helping hand.
I read through ASASYMBM and it seems you can pass a value and length
but I
Post by Kirk Wolf
Post by scott Ford
dont want to replace a symbol...
-- gil
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Peter Relson
2017-09-29 04:40:11 UTC
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we need to query these symbolic names from an exit.
really? care to share why? It is quite unusual to have to "query" a system
symbol.

The case I usually think of is "I have a string, I support symbolics, I
call the symbol substitution service to do whatever it, according to its
documentation, chooses to do".
And if the customer used a symbol that they had failed to define, then
they get what they get, which is usually something that has bad syntax
because "&SYM" is not usually what a parser would be looking for.

Peter Relson
z/OS Core Technology Design


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Nims,Alva John , Al
2017-09-29 14:51:41 UTC
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I might be offering information that may mean anything, but have you looked at Mark Zelden's IPLINFO REXX code, he lists the system symbols (find "symbols:" in the code).

Al Nims
Systems Admin/Programmer 3
UFIT
University of Florida
(352) 273-1298

-----Original Message-----
From: IBM Mainframe Discussion List [mailto:IBM-***@LISTSERV.UA.EDU] On Behalf Of Peter Relson
Sent: Friday, September 29, 2017 12:41 AM
To: IBM-***@LISTSERV.UA.EDU
Subject: Re: z/OS Symbols Question
we need to query these symbolic names from an exit.
really? care to share why? It is quite unusual to have to "query" a system symbol.

The case I usually think of is "I have a string, I support symbolics, I call the symbol substitution service to do whatever it, according to its documentation, chooses to do".
And if the customer used a symbol that they had failed to define, then they get what they get, which is usually something that has bad syntax because "&SYM" is not usually what a parser would be looking for.

Peter Relson
z/OS Core Technology Design


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Steve Smith
2017-09-29 15:01:59 UTC
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SDSF (at least on the systems I can access) has a SYM command that
shows them all. MXI (unsurprisingly) also does.

sas
Post by Nims,Alva John , Al
I might be offering information that may mean anything, but have you looked at Mark Zelden's IPLINFO REXX code, he lists the system symbols (find "symbols:" in the code).
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Paul Gilmartin
2017-09-29 15:40:09 UTC
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Post by Peter Relson
we need to query these symbolic names from an exit.
really? care to share why? It is quite unusual to have to "query" a system
symbol.
The case I usually think of is "I have a string, I support symbolics, I
call the symbol substitution service to do whatever it, according to its
documentation, chooses to do".
And if the customer used a symbol that they had failed to define, then
they get what they get, which is usually something that has bad syntax
because "&SYM" is not usually what a parser would be looking for.
Does that symbol substitution service indicate, via a return code, that it
failed to find a definition for the symbol?

-- gil

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Kirk Wolf
2017-09-29 16:34:24 UTC
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No, but if you give it an input buffer "&THENAME" and the output ends up
unchanged, then the symbol wasn't found (with RC=0).

Don't shoot the messenger - I don't like ASASYMBM much either :-)

Kirk Wolf
Dovetailed Technologies
http://dovetail.com

On Fri, Sep 29, 2017 at 10:41 AM, Paul Gilmartin <
Post by Paul Gilmartin
Post by Peter Relson
we need to query these symbolic names from an exit.
really? care to share why? It is quite unusual to have to "query" a system
symbol.
The case I usually think of is "I have a string, I support symbolics, I
call the symbol substitution service to do whatever it, according to its
documentation, chooses to do".
And if the customer used a symbol that they had failed to define, then
they get what they get, which is usually something that has bad syntax
because "&SYM" is not usually what a parser would be looking for.
Does that symbol substitution service indicate, via a return code, that it
failed to find a definition for the symbol?
-- gil
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Paul Gilmartin
2017-09-29 19:24:58 UTC
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Post by Kirk Wolf
No, but if you give it an input buffer "&THENAME" and the output ends up
unchanged, then the symbol wasn't found (with RC=0).
How can you tell it wasn't found rather than found with value "&THENAME"?

-- gil

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Dana Mitchell
2017-09-29 20:17:09 UTC
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Slightly OT but.....

The FM says:
A program that calls ASASYMBM can optionally provide user symbols and their
associated substitution texts in a symbol table. The SYMBPSYMBOLTABLE@ field, in
the user parameter area of the ASASYMBP mapping macro, specifies the address
of a symbol table, which is mapped by the SYMBT DSECT.

I wonder why would someone pass a symbol table to this service to have it substitute values for you?

Dana
Post by Kirk Wolf
Don't shoot the messenger - I don't like ASASYMBM much either :-)
Kirk Wolf
Dovetailed Technologies
http://dovetail.com
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scott Ford
2017-09-30 03:13:03 UTC
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Peter,

We have customer that my previous manager provided our exit code to. The
exit is to a non-IBM security system.
The customer with the said code wants to modify a routine we wrote. That
source wasn't provided. The exit can't pass any parameters during
activation, but the customer wants to disable one of our warning messages.
They were asking if the could use a set system symbolic and have our exit
check it for conditional processing, i.e.; turning off warning messages. I
was asking to see if I had another option..since my first posting we came
up with an easier method basically a bit map to set options to pass to our
routine.
Sorry for being vague but this code is our bread and butter so to speak..

Regards,
Scott
Post by Dana Mitchell
Slightly OT but.....
A program that calls ASASYMBM can optionally provide user symbols and their
the user parameter area of the ASASYMBP mapping macro, specifies the address
of a symbol table, which is mapped by the SYMBT DSECT.
I wonder why would someone pass a symbol table to this service to have it
substitute values for you?
Dana
Post by Kirk Wolf
Don't shoot the messenger - I don't like ASASYMBM much either :-)
Kirk Wolf
Dovetailed Technologies
http://dovetail.com
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Lizette Koehler
2017-09-30 14:35:07 UTC
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@Scott - do they have any automation tools like ca OPS/MVS or IBM Tivioli?
They can suppress messages.

Or MFP List exit might also work.

Not sure what "suppress" requires

Lizette
Post by Nims,Alva John , Al
-----Original Message-----
Behalf Of scott Ford
Sent: Friday, September 29, 2017 8:14 PM
Subject: Re: z/OS Symbols Question
Peter,
We have customer that my previous manager provided our exit code to. The exit
is to a non-IBM security system.
The customer with the said code wants to modify a routine we wrote. That
source wasn't provided. The exit can't pass any parameters during activation,
but the customer wants to disable one of our warning messages.
They were asking if the could use a set system symbolic and have our exit
check it for conditional processing, i.e.; turning off warning messages. I
was asking to see if I had another option..since my first posting we came up
with an easier method basically a bit map to set options to pass to our
routine.
Sorry for being vague but this code is our bread and butter so to speak..
Regards,
Scott
Post by Dana Mitchell
Slightly OT but.....
A program that calls ASASYMBM can optionally provide user symbols and
their associated substitution texts in a symbol table. The
mapping macro, specifies the address of a symbol table, which is
mapped by the SYMBT DSECT.
I wonder why would someone pass a symbol table to this service to have
it substitute values for you?
Dana
--
Scott Ford
IDMWORKS
z/OS Development
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itzmainframe
2017-09-29 21:34:53 UTC
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I have system specific clists and wondering about using symbols. In the ISPF panels - can &SYSNAME be used when invoking a clist via - cmd(clist&sysname) from the ***@prim menu?
Peter Relson
2017-09-30 15:36:24 UTC
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Post by Kirk Wolf
Post by Paul Gilmartin
Does that symbol substitution service indicate, via a return code, that
it
Post by Kirk Wolf
Post by Paul Gilmartin
failed to find a definition for the symbol?
No
Somewhat incorrect. But you do have to ask for it. And keep in mind that
there could be any number of symbols if you don't control the input.
So "the symbol" is a valid thought only if you know that there is exactly
one symbol in the input.

In ASASYMBT:
SYMBTWARNNOSUB EQU X'20' When no substitution at all has occurred, *
produce a warning return code.
similarly SYMBT1WARNNOSUB.

*03* 16
*03* Meaning: Warning. When WarnNoSub was specified, the
* substitution process encountered no symbols for
* which to substitute.
* The substitution processing completed normally.
*03* Action: None required.
Post by Kirk Wolf
I don't like ASASYMBM much either :-)
Care to provide a helpful comment about in what ways it does not meet your
needs?
You are welcome to bash all you like, but without specifics doing so is
unproductive.
The service is admittedly primitive. It meets our needs.
Post by Kirk Wolf
I wonder why would someone pass a symbol table to this service
to have it substitute values for you?
Not everything to be substituted for is "system symbol". If you have
additional or even alternate symbols then you'd have to inform the service
what those other symbols are so that it can do the substitution. If you're
wondering why not just do the substitution yourself, I doubt that you'd
bother dealing with all the cases that ASASYMBM handles.
You can also provide this symbol table operand to provide flags to direct
the processing (such as WarnNoSub) even if there are no additional
symbols.

But I still would like to know why/when/if it is important to a program if
a particular symbol is (or is not) defined. Obviously to someone creating
a string for evaluation it is important to know what symbols are available
to be used. Customers don't seem to have a problem knowing that.

Peter Relson
z/OS Core Technology Design


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Rob Schramm
2017-09-30 16:09:09 UTC
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In general I like the idea of using a system symbol. And for a couple
things it will work just fine. It will breakdown when large number of
things are being kept track of. There was a thread not long ago about
hanging a vendor area off a special ( started out as user TCB ) control
block that is registered with IBM.

Rob Schramm
Post by Peter Relson
Post by Kirk Wolf
Post by Paul Gilmartin
Does that symbol substitution service indicate, via a return code, that
it
Post by Kirk Wolf
Post by Paul Gilmartin
failed to find a definition for the symbol?
No
Somewhat incorrect. But you do have to ask for it. And keep in mind that
there could be any number of symbols if you don't control the input.
So "the symbol" is a valid thought only if you know that there is exactly
one symbol in the input.
SYMBTWARNNOSUB EQU X'20' When no substitution at all has occurred, *
produce a warning return code.
similarly SYMBT1WARNNOSUB.
*03* 16
*03* Meaning: Warning. When WarnNoSub was specified, the
* substitution process encountered no symbols for
* which to substitute.
* The substitution processing completed normally.
*03* Action: None required.
Post by Kirk Wolf
I don't like ASASYMBM much either :-)
Care to provide a helpful comment about in what ways it does not meet your
needs?
You are welcome to bash all you like, but without specifics doing so is
unproductive.
The service is admittedly primitive. It meets our needs.
Post by Kirk Wolf
I wonder why would someone pass a symbol table to this service
to have it substitute values for you?
Not everything to be substituted for is "system symbol". If you have
additional or even alternate symbols then you'd have to inform the service
what those other symbols are so that it can do the substitution. If you're
wondering why not just do the substitution yourself, I doubt that you'd
bother dealing with all the cases that ASASYMBM handles.
You can also provide this symbol table operand to provide flags to direct
the processing (such as WarnNoSub) even if there are no additional
symbols.
But I still would like to know why/when/if it is important to a program if
a particular symbol is (or is not) defined. Obviously to someone creating
a string for evaluation it is important to know what symbols are available
to be used. Customers don't seem to have a problem knowing that.
Peter Relson
z/OS Core Technology Design
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Kirk Wolf
2017-09-30 17:18:00 UTC
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Post by Peter Relson
Post by Kirk Wolf
I don't like ASASYMBM much either :-)
Care to provide a helpful comment about in what ways it does not meet your
needs?
You are welcome to bash all you like, but without specifics doing so is
unproductive.
The service is admittedly primitive. It meets our needs.
I believe that this thread demonstrates what the problem is: its overly
complicated.

Why not just a simple service to look up the value of a system symbol?

It could be called easily by any HLL without a complicated mapping macro,
but in C it would be something like:

int rc = getSymbol(
const char* name,
char* value,
size_t value_size,
size_t* returned_length ); // or needed len if
value_size too small

And BTW: avoiding a mapping macro like ASASYMBP means that the simple
service could easily have an AMODE64 version, wherease ASASYMBM is only
AMODE31 and requires 31-bit storage.

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Dave Hrycewicz Sent from XFINITY Connect Mobile App
2017-09-30 18:15:38 UTC
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Peter - a thank you...

This is a not-on-topic reply, but one that I think needs to be sent.

Peter - you sent your reply on a Saturday morning - your time/your weekend.
And this is something that you, and other IBMers (John, and so many others)
and former IBMers (i.e. Walt, Greg, et. Al.) frequently do as well -
effectively monitoring and responding to this and other lists 24/7.

Thank you for what you do, thank you for your service and dedication to the
z/OS community as a whole. We z/OS (and mainframe) users owe you all a
tremendous debt of gratitude. Thank you all for going above and beyond as
you do.

Regards,

Dave Hrycewicz
Information Security Engineer
TEKsystems

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Charles Mills
2017-09-30 18:57:08 UTC
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Amen to that!

Charles


-----Original Message-----
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Behalf Of Dave Hrycewicz Sent from XFINITY Connect Mobile App
Sent: Saturday, September 30, 2017 11:07 AM
To: IBM-***@LISTSERV.UA.EDU
Subject: Re: z/OS Symbols Question

Peter - a thank you...

This is a not-on-topic reply, but one that I think needs to be sent.

Peter - you sent your reply on a Saturday morning - your time/your weekend.
And this is something that you, and other IBMers (John, and so many others)
and former IBMers (i.e. Walt, Greg, et. Al.) frequently do as well -
effectively monitoring and responding to this and other lists 24/7.

Thank you for what you do, thank you for your service and dedication to the
z/OS community as a whole. We z/OS (and mainframe) users owe you all a
tremendous debt of gratitude. Thank you all for going above and beyond as
you do.

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scott Ford
2017-09-30 19:38:41 UTC
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I will third that I appreciate the IBM'ers and all my colleagues, because
at my old age of 67 i realize i dont know all the answers.
Peter, since you are so kind to explain i will explain what is going on.

We wrote a caching routine ...called by ACF2/Top-Secret and of course RACF
exits. Primarily IRREVX01 exit and its equivalent..
The exit in question is Top-Secret ...we have a customer who has our exit
source..and modified it ..to say the least it placed me in a
awkward position, i was opposed to distributing the source and upper mgmt
over-ruled me.

This Top-Secret exit has a number of entry points. One is Command which is
the command being passed.
After the command is passed and executed via Top-Secret our caching routine
is called. Part of this caching mechanism
is that a storage area is established Subpool 231, with a 16 byte token.
When the exit is invoked we capture the
command, build a message and cache it in the Subpool we allocate. If the
token is not found we issue a warning message.

Our customer is a large multiple LPAR shop. Each because of compliance has
to run our exit or in this case
a customer version of our modified exit. One LPAR will be running the exit
but not caching the commands.

They made a change to NOP the WTO for the message being issue that I
mentioned above.
This is working fine. We didn't send them originally the source code for
the caching routine, it was OCO.

They are asking for a source solution, their suggestion was could we set a
system symbolic and check whether it
existed or not via the exit, it not there we do normal caching, if we found
it do conditional processed based on a
SOW we are putting which is my job as well as write code.

After discussing internally with colleagues i was give a much better
solution of building a bit map for functions in the calling
exit program and pass that as options and then check that inside the
caching routine.

Sorry for the confusion..I was in the "trees" and couldnt see the forest.

Regards,
Scott
Post by Charles Mills
Amen to that!
Charles
-----Original Message-----
Behalf Of Dave Hrycewicz Sent from XFINITY Connect Mobile App
Sent: Saturday, September 30, 2017 11:07 AM
Subject: Re: z/OS Symbols Question
Peter - a thank you...
This is a not-on-topic reply, but one that I think needs to be sent.
Peter - you sent your reply on a Saturday morning - your time/your weekend.
And this is something that you, and other IBMers (John, and so many others)
and former IBMers (i.e. Walt, Greg, et. Al.) frequently do as well -
effectively monitoring and responding to this and other lists 24/7.
Thank you for what you do, thank you for your service and dedication to the
z/OS community as a whole. We z/OS (and mainframe) users owe you all a
tremendous debt of gratitude. Thank you all for going above and beyond as
you do.
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Peter Relson
2017-10-01 23:47:22 UTC
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<snip>
I believe that this thread demonstrates what the problem is: its overly
complicated.
</snip>

Not the way I have read the thread. I'd bet that every function that is
provided is used by some program. That makes it a function with a lot of
(useful) options. And no one has demonstrated anything complex about using
it. Is filling in a parameter area a nuisance? Maybe. Is it hard? No. An
executable macro could have been provided to hide your filling in the
parameter list. The cost did not warrant it 20 years ago. And still does
not.
Post by Kirk Wolf
Why not just a simple service to look up the value of a system symbol?
Because it is not cost-justified. I'm still waiting for someone to provide
a clear reason to have such as "call" as you show. And if you truly want
to do it, it is already available in REXX. And the function is available,
albeit not as you write as a "simple service". When functionality is
available, it is often more prudent to spend limited resources doing
things that are not already available than to provide another way to do
what can already be done.

<snip>
...avoiding a mapping macro like ASASYMBP means that the simple
service could easily have an AMODE64 version, whereas ASASYMBM is only
AMODE31 and requires 31-bit storage.
</snip>

"Easily" is an interesting term. If there were a business case for
ASASYMBM needing to support AMODE 64 and storage above the bar, then doing
so would be considered. If it were so "easy" (and cost-justified) then
there would be far fewer services (particularly those that have existed
since way before AMODE 64) that do not accept AMODE 64, let alone data
above 2G. Having it be a callable service does not make it appreciably
easier to create an AMODE 64 analog than having there be a parameter area.

Peter Relson
z/OS Core Technology Design


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