There are no other files named filespecs.hlp in the archive.
Information and programs for TOPS-20 are usually stored in uniquely
labeled files. Therefore, file specifications or "filespecs" are the
most common variety of argument to a command. A complete file
specification is of the form:
dev: is a device (usually a file structure)
<dir> is a directory name (enclosed in angle < > or square [ ]
name is a filename
.typ is a file type
.gen is a generation number
;att is a file attribute
You need file attributes in only a few situations and can usually let
dev:, <dir>, and .gen take default values, so you can give most file
specifications in the shortened form, name.typ, without being unclear.
(Default values are those that are defined by the state of your job.
For more information see the DEFAULTS help file.) In a few cases, an
entire file specification is assumed if you do not supply one when you
give the command (for the CREATE and EDIT commands, for example, and
for LOAD-class commands - COMPILE, LOAD, EXECUTE, and DEBUG).
Whenever you omit the dev: field of the filespec, the system assumes
you mean your connected structure (DSK:). This is the public
structure (usually named PS:), which all users must log in to, unless
you connect to a directory on another structure by using the CONNECT
command. Give the INFORMATION STRUCTURE command if you are unsure of
the name for your connected structure.
Whenever you omit the <dir> field of the filespec, the system assumes
you mean your connected directory. Unless you have given a CONNECT
command, this is your "log-in" directory, the directory on the public
structure that you must log in to and which usually has a name
composed of your surname, or surname and initials, enclosed in angle
or square brackets. You can change your connected directory by giving
a CONNECT command. Use the DIRECTORY command to see the name of your
When you omit the .gen field of the filespec, the system usually
assumes you mean the highest generation (largest generation number) of
the file. (A few commands, for example, DELETE, RENAME, and
DIRECTORY, act on all generations of a file unless you specify a
particular generation.) When you create and edit text files, compile
and debug programs, or do anything else to produce another generation
of a file, the system automatically works with the highest existing
generation and labels the changed file with the next higher generation
number. Therefore when you omit the generation number in a filespec
given as argument to a TOPS-20 command, you are assured of using the
most recent version of the file. Although you can override this
default action by specifying particular generations of input and
output files, it is simplest and most straightforward to allow the
defaults to prevail.
Specification of file attributes is optional. You can assign
attributes in order to have a file automatically marked for deletion
when you log out; to associate a file with a valid account; and so
forth. Appendix C lists the available file attributes.
Pressing the ESC key instead of typing a filespec field will usually
cause any default for the remaining fields to be printed on your
There are two characters (called "wildcard" characters) that you can
include in any field of a filespec to include all files matching the
rest of the filespec. An asterisk (*) fills in for zero or more
characters of a field, while a percent sign (%) fills in for a single
character only. (However, only the complete field "DSK*:" is allowed
as wildcard for the device field, and only the complete field "*" is
allowed as wildcard for the generation field.) Therefore you could
give the command DIRECTORY *.CBL to find out what source files written
in COBOL are in your connected directory, or the command DELETE *.Q*
to remove the EDIT program's backup files from your directory.