Retrieve Commands With F8
By Dawn May / October 10, 2019
In this i Can blog post, IBM i expert Dawn May explains the latest RFE for the OS.
Using the IBM i command entry screen, we’ve long had F9 to retrieve previously entered commands. Each time you pressed F9, the previous command populated on the command line.
If you’re like me, you may have entered a lot of commands during an interactive session and would sometimes press F9 very quickly to get back to one you issued some time ago—but then you went one or two too far. You’d then either continue pressing F9 repeatedly until you got to the command you wanted, or you’d give up and just enter the command manually again.
An RFE called F8 to recall commands like F9… was submitted in August of 2018 to request a ‘forward’ feature to compliment the ‘back’ feature. While the RFE was written just last year, this enhancement had been requested many years earlier. It seemed hope was lost since there was a time when IBM asserted “no further enhancements to the green screen.” I’m very happy that they have reconsidered this decision and finally delivered on this request.
There’s more to this enhancement than simply having F8 to retrieve commands in the opposite direction. The PTF cover letter also describes the ability to recall commands using a wildcard (*).
From the PTF cover letter:
"You can type the start of a command string followed by an
asterisk (*) on the command line and press F9 to retrieve the
last command that begins with the specified text. If F9 is
pressed again, the previous command that starts with the
specified text is shown. If F9 is pressed after the first
matching command has been returned, or there are no matching
commands, matching is turned off and the most recent command is
How cool is this?! You can find the 7.4 PTF information here. The PTF for 7.3 is SI71070.
It may take a while, but this delivered RFE is a good example of how IBM truly listens to client requests for enhancements.
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Dawn May is an IBM i consultant. She owns Dawn May Consulting, LLC in the Greater Boston area. Dawn is a former IBM senior technical staff member.
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