asa - interpret ASA/FORTRAN carriage-controls


asa [filename ...]


    Traditional FORTRAN programs put carriage-control characters in the first columns of their output, which were interpreted by older lineprinters according to the ASA vertical format control standard. (ASA was the American Standards Association -- now ANSI.)

    Under this standard, the first character of each printable record (line) determines vertical spacing, as follows:

      blank carriage return 0 two carriage returns 1 Formfeed + overprint - three carriage returns (IBM extension)

    All other characters are discarded, and empty lines behave as though they have a leading blank.

    asa interprets these characters.


    0 normal exit

    1 inability to write on stdout or to read an input file

    2 bad argument

    Exit status values chosen from MKS toolkit.


Jeffrey S. Haemer


Currently, asa just looks at the readability of its input files at startup time. It should really do it a file at a time, but that makes the code look gross.

The carriage-control '-' is an IBM extension. Perhaps the default should ignore it and there should be a '-i' option to interpret it.


Communications of the ACM, Vol 7, No. 10, p. 606, October 1964.

NWG/RFC 189, Appendix C