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As one forced to use a VMS file server I can tell you a few ways to handle
a complex directory structure:
1) If you have clout, or privs, you can define system-wide logical names
that are handled pretty well by the Symbolics.
2) If you are using DECnet to access files, in my opinion the only way
to fly, then you can define logical names your LOGIN.COM that will
be defined in your DAP processes. This points to the value of a short
LOGIN.COM or judicious testing of F$MODE early in your LOGIN.COM.
3) If you are using logical pathnames, with ;;s in them, like a good
bee instead of yuckey VMS pathnames, with s in them, a well defined
(fs:set-logical-pathname-host ...) can make the most complex of VMS
directory structures easy to use. We have 5-6 logical hosts that all
point to the same physical host, with no measurable performance lag.
It is really easy to trade DEC's three pathname delimiters "[.]" for
Symbolics one ";". Refer to v5-12.9.10 "Logical Pathnames" for more
details on this neat feature.