cob Options Syntax

A cob option takes the form:

 flag-intro flag-letter [parameter]
 flag-intro flag-letter[flag-letter]... [parameter]

where the parameters are:

The hyphen (-) or the plus (+) character. flag-intro must be preceded by a space character. There must be no spaces between flag-intro and flag-letter.
A letter (or occasionally letters) indicating cob flag that defines the action required. There must be no spaces between flag-intro and flag-letter or between two adjacent flag-letters. There can be any number of spaces, or none space between the last flag-letter and the parameter if it is present. For example -xve "" in which "" represents a null parameter.
An optional string of characters that details exactly how the flagged option is to behave. Where a group of cob options are specified, the parameter applies to the last option. The parameter cannot contain a space or tab character unless that character is contained in single (') or double (") quotation marks. A parameter enclosed in a pair of quotation marks must not exceed 255 characters.

Parameters to directives given on the cob command line or in a directives file retain their case, but parameters to directives given in a $SET statement are converted to upper case.

You might need to set options as a system or user default and then to unset them again in specific instances. By specifying a hyphen after the flag letter with no intervening space, you can unset the following options: -c, -P and -U.

Special Characters

Options specified on the cob command line pass through the UNIX shell, which preprocesses certain characters such as space, asterisk (*), parentheses (), single (') and double (") quotation marks. To pass these special characters unchanged as part of an option, you must escape the shell processing, as follows:

The cob command treats single and double quotation marks in an option in the same way, regardless of whether the option is specified on the command line or in the cobopt file or COBOPT environment variable.