At 01:39 PM 1/21/98 CST, you wrote:

>After some investigation prompted by David's initial note, here is what
>appears to be happening.

 Thanks for the explanation.  Now it makes sense.

> A second approach was to "instruct" CL to expect
>a pointer on the stack rather than a data value.  And how is this done?
>By defining the return value as a char(2) (or greater) which indicates
>a pointer is being used, and then substring out the first byte to get
>the char(1) referenced by the pointer.

 This is a workaround that doesn't follow the language convention (or spec,
for that matter).

>While one might argue the pros and cons of choices 1 and 2 above, #2
>was selected for what appeared to be valid reasons at that time.

 I don't know the exact ratios of programs coded in each language on the
/400, but for argument sake, let's say 80% RPG, 15% Cobol and 5% all other
(including C!)  CL (based on number of programs) is probably used almost as
much as all other programs combined.  To prototype and continue to
perpetuate (read: inflict!) the idiosyncracies (sp?) of C upon the primary
languages on the /400 seems wrong and s/b corrected.  I'm sure the guys in
the labs can come up w/ a good solution.

>I don't believe I would necessarily classify this as a CL shortcoming;
>for sure ILE CL is not considered a language of minimal usage that is
>not being "fixed" and enhanced.

 I have to disagree w/ both of the above statements.

1)  How can you say that a bug w/ a workaround is not a shortcoming?  And
yes, it is a bug!
    There may have been a valid reason for the introduction of the bug, but
that doesn't diminish
    the importance of fixing it.

2a) CL was added at the eleventh hour as an ILE offering.

2b) The only enhancements to the CL language (as a language, additional
commands don't count) in     quite a few years are ILE and the %BIN()
function.  This does not sound like IBM is serious     about enhancing CL.
In order to make it a decent langauge w/ the "basics", IBM would have to
 add loop control, subroutines, multiple file access, file add / update
ability, additional     variable types.  There are many other items that
have been requested over the years, but we     have not received.  Are you
aware of any planned enhancements in CL?

>Bruce Vining (wondering what kind of response the messenger will get on
>this one)

 You asked for it!!     :-)   :-)


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