Gumbo’s Dumpster Dives Into i5/OS Spool Files
February 13, 2007 Alex Woodie
They may not be pretty to look at, but sometimes you need to see the raw output of i5/OS spool files to see what they’re doing. To that end, Gumbo Software, a developer of OS/400 spool file management tools, is now offering to enterprise computing users a freeware utility called Dumpster.
According to Gumbo, Dumpster is the same tool that it uses to dissect and parse the inner world of OS/400 spool files and print resources. “The output isn’t pretty but with it you can gain insight into the inner workings of i5/OS spool support,” the company says on its Web site. “This can be useful for increasing printer throughput or determining the exact effect of various DDS keyword combinations.”
What goes into the Dumpster are any of the System i’s most popular spooled file print data streams, including the SNA Character String (SCS), the Intelligent Printer Data Stream (IPDS), and the Advanced Function Printing Data Stream (AFPDS).
Coming out of the Dumpster are various formatted code dumps, including ATTRIB, the spooled file’s complete attributes (equivalent to WRKSPLFA on steroids, the company adds); RSCLST, a list of external resources referenced by the spooled file (which is equal to the output of the i5/OS QGSLRSC API); DTASTR, the raw data stream in readable form; and BUFFER, which contains all the information on the spooled file’s buffers (or the output of the i5/OS QSPGETSP API for format SPFR0200).
Programmers interact with Dumpster via two commands that function similarly to two i5/OS commands, including Work with Spooled File (WRKSPLF) and Work with Output Queue (WRKOUTQ).
The earliest release of Dumpster supports OS/400 V3R2, while the latest release, V1R4, requires OS/400 V5R2 or higher, and is compatible with all security levels. The software is free, and can be downloaded from www.gumbosoftware.com.