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FTP From Hosts Which Provide Logical Names

    Date: Fri, 17 Nov 89 07:14 PST
    From: DMittman@SARG-URANUS.jpl.nasa.gov (David Mittman)

    I have recently tried to FTP some files from the NIC, and have been
    stymied by the fact that they are now requiring that FTP requests use
    logical pathnames such as NETINFO:FOO.DOC. How does one accomplish this
    from a Symbolics?

They don't *require* it.  I just successfully read
NIC.DDN.MIL:TS:<NETINFO>NUG.DOC, which is the translation of
NETINFO:NUG.DOC.  They just don't publicize the physical pathname (so
that they can change it without having to change documentation).  At the
current time, I think most of the publically-accessible stuff is on the
TS: device, so logical pathnames of the form logdev:name can generally
be translated to TS:<logdev>name.

I just discovered a REALLY kludgey way to do this:

Type (describe #p"nic.ddn.mil:x:<a>b.c.0").  This will show all the
slots of the pathname object.  Click c-m-Right on the value of the
FS:STRING-FOR-HOST slot, and type the logical pathname that the NIC
announced, surrounded by doublequotes, e.g.


Then, any time you reference the file NIC.DDN.MIL:X:<A>B.C it will
actually access the file you specified.

I complained to Customer-Reports a couple of months ago about this.
Here was the response I got:

    I played with this for a week (from Terminal and Dired), 
    then broadcast for help.  The only strong opinion came
    from our ANSI CL liaison:
	For what it's worth, ANSI Common Lisp (per CL issue PATHNAME-UNSPECIFIC-COMPONENT)
	will specify that the correct way to represent that you don't want the directory 
	filled is with a directory of :UNSPECIFIC (rather than a directory of NIL). 
	Not all hosts are required to support this, but it's the way you say it on hosts
	that do.  I'm pretty sure we don't yet support it yet, but I would expect that
	ultimately we will.
	ANSI CL will not legislate the namestring part, of course, since it's
	beyond the scope of a language to restrict or extend the native host
	filename syntax.
    So TOPS-20 pathnames will probably continue to be 
    awkward, unless we can interest someone in writing 
    an interim patch (unlikely, to be honest).