• Subject: Re: COBOL and RPG was Welcome new members
  • From: Jon.Paris@xxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 2 Dec 1999 18:09:07 -0500

Oh OK - one last comment or three <grin>

 >> Ok so its not a call, it looketh like a function nevertheless we are only
limited by what the vendor allows, not by the language itself.

I see your point but surely one of the benefits of a language like COBOL is that
it conforms to standards.  Heck you've quoted them in your notes.  ANSI does not
support this kind of extension and over the years IBM's internal COBOL standards
group have adhered fairly strongly to the standard. Only someone who has never
tried to get a new function into the COBOL compiler would think that it was easy
to get permission to add non-standard function <grin> I still carry many scars
from those battles. Most extensions that IBM have made, are in ANSI permitted
areas or to deal with platform specific issues.

You can get a notion of how difficult it can be to add function when you
consider that when intrinsic were introduce ANSI forced the use of the keyword
FUNCTION in front of them in order to ensure that that compilers could parse
them correctly.  Your example by the way mentions COMPUTE which I didn't think
entered the standard until 74 - but I may be mismembering.

Even if this were added to COBOL on the 400 (and it is under consideration) it
only addresses function invocation, not prototyping which is very valuable even
for program calls. Since OS/400 provides no inherent support for parameter
checking, compiler support is very useful. Now that COBOL has implemented
typedefs (and before you say it - yes it would be great to have that in RPG)
there is hope that prototyping can be piggybacked on that.

Ah MCP that takes me back - you must have worked on the version _before_
political correctness forced them to clean up the names of some of the routines.

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