Thanks Jon for your response.

If I add the length of the field to the call, wont I be introducing a maintenance nightmare into the programs?

For example,

move 30 to parm-length
call 'ProperCase' using parm-length, PRINT-LINE

Next year when CUST-ADDRESS-1 changes from length 30 to length 40, little time bombs will go off and people will shy away from calling pgms.

More serious examples would cause serious problems as field lengths change and pgms need individual attention to keep pgms in sync with data fields.

It seems that it is better to build the CALLED pgm with really long parm fields, and as data attributes change, the pgms will keep working (until the really-long-field isn't long enough anyways).
But then it takes 3 lines of [harder to read] code and a work field, instead of one simple line in all other languages.

Unfortunately the business user wants Proper case; the data is currently in YELLING-CASE.

Lack of user-defined functions is tough.

I know I ask the same question about once per year, hoping someone will have a different answer about building my own (some might say that is the definition of insanity??)

-----Original Message-----
From: cobol400-l-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:cobol400-l-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Jon Paris
Sent: Wednesday, June 27, 2012 10:04 AM
To: COBOL Programming on the iSeries/AS400
Subject: Re: [COBOL400-L] CALLing other pgms - what is a good method of handling different parm lengths

On 2012-06-27, at 10:20 AM, Stone, Joel wrote:

I have a pgm ProperCase to change an UPPER-CASE string to Mixed-Case.

For example, "123 ELM ST" changes to "123 Elm St"

The field that I want to pass as a parm may be different lengths for example



I have been coding as follows:

move CUST-ADDRESS-1 of CUST-FILE to ws-string
call 'ProperCase' using ws-string
move ws-string to PRINT-LINE.

I would much prefer to do something like

Move ProperCase (CUST-ADDRESS-1) to PRINT-LINE

|------subprocedure name

Is this possible?

Nope - sadly when the COBOL gods introduced functions they never went beyond the equivalent of RPG BIFS - no way to write your own. If you wanted simple upper-casing for example you could do this:

move function upper-case(CUST-ADDRESS-1) to PRINT-LINE.

Surely not, but

My next choice, to make fewer lines of code and thus more readable code, would be to

call 'ProperCase' using PRINT-LINE

Problem is that in the pgm ProperCase, the parm is defined as very long x(1000) to accommodate a long string. But when I make this call, it wipes out everything in memory past the field that I am passing as a parm.

Any way to avoid this?


This would do the same in RPG surely? or are you using a varying string? I think ProperCase needs to be modified to take the length of the field it is handling. Then it could constrain its operation to the defined length. Simple pass the "length of" value to make sure the length is accurate.

Jon Paris

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