The asa utility shall write its input files to standard output, mapping
carriage-control characters from the text files to line-printer control
sequences in an implementation-defined manner.
The first character of every line shall be removed from the input, and the
following actions are performed.
If the character removed is:
The rest of the line is output without change.
A <newline> is output, then the rest of the input
One or more implementation-defined characters that causes
an advance to the next page shall be output, followed by the rest of the
The <newline> of the previous line shall be replaced
with one or more implementation-defined characters that causes printing to
return to column position 1, followed by the rest of the input line. If
the '+' is the first character in the input, it shall be equivalent
The action of the asa utility is unspecified upon encountering any
character other than those listed above as the first character in a line.
The following environment variables shall affect the execution of asa:
Provide a default value for the internationalization
variables that are unset or null. (See the Base Definitions volume of
IEEE Std 1003.1-2001, Section 8.2, Internationalization
Variables for the precedence of internationalization variables used to
determine the values of locale categories.)
If set to a non-empty string value, override the values of
all the other internationalization variables.
Determine the locale for the interpretation of sequences of
bytes of text data as characters (for example, single-byte as opposed to
multi-byte characters in arguments and input files).
Determine the locale that should be used to affect the
format and contents of diagnostic messages written to standard error.
Determine the location of message catalogs for the
processing of LC_MESSAGES.
The asa utility is needed to map "standard" FORTRAN 77 output
into a form acceptable to contemporary printers. Usually, asa is used
to pipe data to the lp utility; see lp.
This utility is generally used only by FORTRAN programs. The standard developers
decided to retain asa to avoid breaking the historical large base of
FORTRAN applications that put carriage-control characters in their output
files. There is no requirement that a system have a FORTRAN compiler in order
to run applications that need asa.
Historical implementations have used an ASCII <form-feed> in response to a
1 and an ASCII <carriage-return> in response to a '+' . It is
suggested that implementations treat characters other than 0, 1, and
'+' as <space> in the absence of any compelling reason to do
otherwise. However, the action is listed here as "unspecified",
permitting an implementation to provide extensions to access fast
multiple-line slewing and channel seeking in a non-portable manner.
Portions of this text are reprinted and reproduced in electronic form from IEEE
Std 1003.1, 2003 Edition, Standard for Information Technology -- Portable
Operating System Interface (POSIX), The Open Group Base Specifications Issue
6, Copyright (C) 2001-2003 by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics
Engineers, Inc and The Open Group. In the event of any discrepancy between
this version and the original IEEE and The Open Group Standard, the original
IEEE and The Open Group Standard is the referee document. The original
Standard can be obtained online at http://www.opengroup.org/unix/online.html