Category : Word Processors
Archive   : PAR233.ZIP
Filename : POM.INF

Output of file : POM.INF contained in archive : PAR233.ZIP
========================== ============================
========================== PARSE-O-MATIC ============================
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Parse-O-Matic is Copyright (C) 1992


Pinnacle Software, CP 386 Mount Royal, Quebec Canada H3P 3C6
U.S. Office: Box 714 Airport Road, Swanton, Vermont 05488 USA

Support Line (514) 345-9578 -- Free Files BBS (514) 345-8654

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This is a SHAREWARE product. That means we would like you to
pass around unregistered copies to other people. If you have
a modem, please upload it to your favourite bulletin board
system, or give a copy to a friend who you think might need
a program like this. Shareware means sharing! Pass it on!

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Design and coding: Timothy Campbell

Marketing: James Ludwick
Paul Renault

Documentation: Natasha Mirage

Distribution: Kevin Beck

Support services: L. Wilson
Z. Krome
P. Katt



There are plenty of programs out there that have valuable data locked away
inside them. How do you get that data OUT of one program and into another one?

Some programs provide a feature which "exports" a file into some kind of
generic format. Perhaps the most popular of these formats is known as a
"comma-delimited file", which is a text file in which each data field is
separated by a comma. Literal strings -- which might contain commas! -- are
represented in double quotes. So a few lines from a comma-delimited file might
look something like this (an export from a hypothetical database of people who
owe your company money):

| "JONES","FRED","1234 GREEN AVENUE", "KANSAS CITY", "MO",293.64 |
| "SMITH","JOHN","2343 OAK STREET","NEW YORK","NY",22.50 |

Unfortunately, not all programs export data in this format, and not all
programs READ data in that format. What's most annoying of all is when one
program exports data in a format that is ALMOST what you need!

If that's the case, you might find that it's worth your while to spend a few
hours in a text editor, modifying the export file so that the other program
can understand it. Or you might write a program to do the editing for you.
Both solutions are time-consuming.

An even more challenging problem arises when a program which has no export
capability DOES have the ability to "print" reports to a file. You can write a
program to read these files and convert them to something you can use, but this
can be a LOT of work!


Parse-O-Matic is a utility that interprets text files and converts them to
other formats. It can help you "boil down" reports into their essential data.
You can also use it to convert NEARLY compatible file formats.


You need three things:

1) The Parse-O-Matic program
2) A Parse-O-Matic "POM" file (to tell Parse-O-Matic what to do)
3) The input file

The input file is usually a report from another program. We've provided
several examples of typical input files. For example, the file EXAMPLE2.TXT
comes from the AccPac accounting software. AccPac is a great program, but its
export capabilities leave something to be desired. Parse-O-Matic can help!


This documentation assumes that you are an experienced computer user. If you
have trouble, you might ask a programmer to help you -- POM file creation is
a little like programming!


The format of the Parse-O-Matic command line is:

POM pom-file input-file output-file

Here's an example, as you would type it at the DOS command line:


For a more formal description of the command line, start up POM by typing this
command at the DOS prompt:



The POM file is a text file with a .POM extension. The following conventions
are used when interpreting the POM file:

- Null lines and lines starting with a semi-colon are ignored.

- A POM file may contain up to 500 lines of specifications.
Comment lines do not count in this total.

A POM file contains no "loops" (to use the programming term). Each line of the
input file is processed by the entire POM file. If you'd like it expressed in
terms of programming languages, here's what POM does:

| START: If there's nothing left in the input file, go to QUIT. |
| Read a line from the input file |
| Do everything in the POM file |
| Go to START |
| QUIT: Tell the user you're finished! |


Spaces and tabs between the words and variables in a POM file line are
generally ignored (except in the case of the OUT and OUTEND commands). You
can use spaces to make the POM file easier to read.

Additionally, in any line in the POM file, the following terms are ignored:


These can be added to make the lines easier to read. For example, the IF
command can be written in any of the following ways:

Very terse: IF PRICE "0.00" BONUS "0.00" "1.00"

Padded with spaces: IF PRICE "0.00" BONUS "0.00" "1.00"

Fully padded: IF PRICE = "0.00" THEN BONUS = "0.00" ELSE "1.00"


For ease of learning, the commands words are presented in the following order:


MINLEN number

Specifies the minimum length a line must be to be considered for parsing.
(Note that null lines in the input file are always ignored) If you omit
the MINLEN command, the minimum length is assumed to be 1. That is to
say, all lines longer than 1 character will be processed.

MINLEN is useful for ignoring brief information lines that clutter up a
report that you are parsing. For example, in the sample file EXAMPLE2.POM,
the MINLEN command is set to 85 to ensure that all lines shorter than 85
characters long will be ignored. This simplifies the coding considerably.

SET var1 value1

This assigns a value to a variable. The usual reason to do this is to
set a variable from the input line ($FLINE) prior to cleaning it up with
TRIM. For example:

SET NAME = $FLINE[50 59] (Sets the variable from the input line)
TRIM NAME "R" " " (Trims any spaces on the right side)

We might find a blank-padded string between columns 50 and 59. Thus:

SET assigns this value to the variable NAME: "FRED "
After the TRIM, the variable NAME becomes: "FRED"

You will also use SET if you plan to include a substring of $FLINE in the
output, since OUT and OUTEND do not recognize substrings after the "|"
marker, only complete variables.

IGNORE value1 value2

When value1 contains value2, the input line is ignored and all further
processing on the input line stops. The usual format of this command is
as in this example:

IGNORE $FLINE[3 9] = "Date"

This would skip any input line that contains the word "Date" between
columns 3 and 9 ($FLINE is the line just read from the input file).

ACCEPT value1 value2

Accepts the input line if value1 contains value2. For example, if the
entire POM file read as follows:

OUTEND "X" = "X" |{$FLINE}

then any input line that contains "YES", starting in column 15, would be
sent to the output file. All other lines would be ignored.

CLUSTERED ACCEPTS: Sometimes you have to check more than one value to see
if the input line is valid. You do this using "clustered ACCEPTs", which
are several ACCEPT commands in a row.

Briefly stated, if you have several ACCEPTs in a row ("clustered"), they
are all processed to determine if the input line is acceptable or not. If
even one ACCEPT matches up, the line is accepted. To express this in more

When value1 contains value2, the line is accepted, and processing of the
POM file continues for that input line, even if the immediately following
ACCEPTs do NOT produce a match. After all, we've already got a match!

If value1 does NOT contain value2, Parse-O-Matic looks at the next commmand
in the POM file. If it is not another ACCEPT, the input line is ignored.
If it is another ACCEPT, maybe it will product a match! So Parse-O-Matic
moves to that command.

The following POM file uses clustered ACCEPTs to accept any line that
contains the name "FRED" or "MARY" between columns 5 and 8, or contains
the word "MEMBER" between columns 20 and 25.

SET NAME = $FLINE[5 8] (Set the variable)
ACCEPT $FLINE[20 25] = "MEMBER" (Look for MEMBER)
OUTEND "X" = "X" |{$FLINE} (Output the line if we get this far)

The following example would NOT work, however:

OUTEND "X" = "X" |{$FLINE}

It would not work because the ACCEPTs are not clustered; if the first
ACCEPT fails, the input line will be rejected as soon as the SET command
is encountered. The next two ACCEPTs would not be reached in such case.

IF value1 value2 var1 value3 [value4]

If value1 contains value2, var1 is set to value3. Otherwise, it is
set to value4. If value4 is missing, nothing is done (i.e. var1
is not changed). Here's an example of the IF command...

IF EARNING = "0.00" THEN BONUS = "0.00" ELSE "1.00"

This would obtain the value between columns 20 and 26, remove any spaces,
then check if it equals "0.00". If it does, the variable BONUS would be
set to 0.00. If not, BONUS would be set to "1.00".

TRIM var1 spec1 character

Removes characters from var1. This is usually used to remove blanks.
spec1 can be: A=All B=Both ends L=Left side only R = Right side only
For example:


This would remove all commas from the variable "PRICE", and remove the
leadings dollar sign. Thus:

If the input contained the string: "$25,783"
The first TRIM would change it to: "$25783"
The second TRIM would change it to: "25783"

PAD var1 spec1 character len

Makes var1 a particular length, padded with a particular character.

spec1 is "L", "R", or "C" (Left, Right or Center)
character is the character used to pad the string
len is the desired string length

For example, if the variable ABC is set to "1234" ...

PAD ABC "L" "0" "7" left-pads it 7 characters wide with zeros ("0001234")
PAD ABC "R" " " "5" right-pads it 5 characters wide with spaces ("1234 ")
PAD ABC "C" "*" "8" would center it, 8 wide, with asterisks ("**1234**")

If the length is less than the length of the string, it is unchanged. For
example, if you set variable XYZ to "PINNACLE", then

PAD XYZ "R" " " "3"

would leave the string as-is ("PINNACLE").

If it was your intention to make XYZ 3 letters long, it would be better to
use the SET command:

SET XYZ = XYZ[1 3]

INSERT var1 spec1 value1

Inserts text on the left or right of var1, or at a "found text" position.

spec1 is "L" or "R" (Left or Right) or a find-string (e.g. "@HELLO")
value1 is the value to be inserted

For example, if the variable ABC is set to "ParseOMatic", then

INSERT ABC "L" "Register " would set ABC to "Register ParseOMatic"
INSERT ABC "R" "is super!" would set ABC to "ParseOMatic is super!"

You can use a find-string to insert text at the first occurance of the
text you specify. For example:

INSERT ABC "@OMatic" "-" would set ABC to "Parse-OMatic"

If the find-string is not found, nothing is done.

CHANGE var1 value1 value2

Replaces ALL occurances of value1 with value2. This is more powerful than
TRIM, but is not as efficient. Here is an example of CHANGE:

SET DATE = $FLINE[31 38]
CHANGE DATE "/" "--"

If the input contained the string: "93/10/15"
The CHANGE would convert it to: "93--10--15"

OUT[END] value1 value2 |output-picture

This is actually two command words: OUT and OUTEND. OUT writes to the
output file without an end-of-line. OUTEND writes an end-of-line to the
file. When value1 matches value2, a line is output to the output file,
according to the output picture. Within the output picture, all
text is taken literally (i.e. " is taken to mean literally that --
a quotation mark character).

The only exception to this is that variable names are identified by
the { and } characters. For example, a POM file that contained the
following single line:

OUTEND "X" = "X" |{$FLUPC}

would simply output in uppercase every line in the input file.

NOTE: OUT does not write immediately to the output file; it accumulates
the output until it reaches 255 characters before writing. You must do an
OUTEND to ensure that the data is actually written. No single OUT or
OUTEND command can output more than 255 characters.

You can not use substrings after the "|" marker. Thus, the following line
is NOT legal:

OUTEND $FLINE[1 3] = "IBM" |{$FLINE[1 15]}

The correct way to code this is as follows:


This would output the first 15 characters of any line that contains the
letters IBM in the first three positions.


A value can be specified in the following ways:

"text" A literal text string
VARNAME The name of a variable
VARNAME[start end] A substring of a variable
VARNAME[start] A single character
VARNAME+ Increments variable (see explanation below)

Variable names can be up to 8 characters long. There is no distinction between
upper and lower case. You can create up to 225 variables and literals (this
number includes the predefined variables).

Parse-O-Matic predefines several variables. They are:

$FLINE = The line just read from the file
$FLUPC = The line just read from the file, in uppercase
$BRL = The { character (used in OUT)
$BRR = The } character (used in OUT)


If you need to specify a quotation mark, use "". For example:

IGNORE $FLINE "He said ""Hello"" to me."

This would ignore lines containing: He said "Hello" to me.


No command can contain these ASCII characters:

--- ------- ----
$00 0 NULL
$0A 10 LF
$0D 13 CR

Of course, LF and CR do appear at the very end of each line.


Only numeric incrementing is supported at this time. Attempting to increment
another type of variable will result in an error.

- Incrementing "1" gives you "2"
- Incrementing "9" gives you "10"


By setting the DOS variable POM to ALL, you can generate a trace file, named
POM.TRC. This is helpful if you have trouble understanding why your file isn't
being parsed properly. But be sure to test it with a SMALL input file. The
trace is quite detailed, and it can easily generate a HUGE output file.

To save space, you can specify a particular list of variables to be traced,
rather than tracing everything. For example, to trace only the variable PRICE,
you would enter this DOS command:


To trace several variables, separate the variable names by slashes, as in this


  3 Responses to “Category : Word Processors
Archive   : PAR233.ZIP
Filename : POM.INF

  1. Very nice! Thank you for this wonderful archive. I wonder why I found it only now. Long live the BBS file archives!

  2. This is so awesome! 😀 I’d be cool if you could download an entire archive of this at once, though.

  3. But one thing that puzzles me is the “mtswslnkmcjklsdlsbdmMICROSOFT” string. There is an article about it here. It is definitely worth a read: