2.1.2 Advantages of the Keyword Approach
The keyword approach provides some advantages over the type of input file that uses non-descriptive numeric option switches and requires rigidly formatted inputs. One advantage is that the keywords are descriptive of the options and inputs being used for a particular run, making it easier for a reviewer to ascertain what was accomplished in a particular run by reviewing the input file. Another advantage is that the user has considerable flexibility in strucTorinog the inputs to improve their readability and understandability, as long as they adhere to the few basic rules described above.
Some special provisions have been made to increase the flexibility to the user in strucTorinog the input files. One provision is to allow for blank records in the input file. This allows the user to separate the pathways from each other, or to separate a group of images, such as source locations, from the other images. Another provision is for the use of "comment cards," identified by a "**" in the pathway field. Any input image that has "**" for the pathway ID will be ignored by the model. This is especially useful for labeling the columns in the source parameter input images, as illustrated in the example problem later in this section. It may also be used to "comment out" certain options for a particular run without deleting the options and associated data (e.g., elevated terrain heights) completely from the input file. Because of the descriptive nature of the keyword options and the flexibility of the inputs it is generally much easier to make modifications to an existing input runstream file to obtain the desired result.
Another aspect of the "user‑friendliness" of the ISC models is that detailed error‑handling has been built into the models. The model provides descriptions of the location and nature of all of the errors encountered for a particular run. Rather than stopping execution at each occurrence of an input error, the new model will read through and attempt to process all input records and report all errors encountered. If a fatal error occurs, then the model will not attempt to execute the model calculations.
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