General Rules

  1. CONSOLE and SYSIN are system devices. For more information, see Special-Names Paragraph.
  2. The FREE phrase allows the use of the free-field format. The free-field format allows you to continue the input into the next line when the input field is smaller than the defined length of identifier. In this format, the ampersand character ("&") acts as a continuation character when it is the last non-blank character in the input line, thus allowing the input to be continued in the next line. The pound sign ("#") acts as a line terminator (but is not required when the input comes from the terminal). To specify the "#" character and circumvent its use as a line terminator, use two "#" characters in succession.
  3. The ON INPUT ERROR and NOT ON INPUT ERROR phrases can be used only with the FREE statement. They allow the handling of the following input error conditions:
    • An illegal character in a numeric item.
    • Too many digits in a numeric item.
    • An input string that is too long for the receiving field.