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Re: GnuCOBOL 3.1-rc1 on FreeBSD

From: Bruno Haible
Subject: Re: GnuCOBOL 3.1-rc1 on FreeBSD
Date: Tue, 14 Jul 2020 00:47:34 +0200
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[CCing the mailing list]

James K. Lowden wrote:
> ...  The Cobol
> language defines the use of indexed files.  GnuCOBOL implements indexed
> file support via a configurable library.  By default, it looks for
> Berkeley-DB, which (as you know) is what caused your build to fail.  
> Indexed-file support is "optional" in that different libraries can be
> used.  The one to use is chosen at configure time.  One option is
> "none", but that's chosen at the expense of removing from the Cobol
> compiler support that it would normally have, and that most Cobols
> have.  
> I don't think that makes indexed-file support "optional" in the sense
> that it should automatically be excluded if the 3rd-party library
> doesn't happen to be installed (or isn't found).  I think the user
> running configure should understand it's a normal dependency that can
> be excluded if desired.   Unless specifically excluded, configure
> should report the missing library as a configuration error.  
> What word should we use to convey "normally expected to be found 
> unless explicitly configured to be unsupported"?

These are all good and valid considerations.

I did not know that the Cobol language defines the use of indexed files.
In this light, the current implementation (explicit option '--without-db'
being required) makes more sense than I had thought. (By the way, GNU clisp
has a similar option: --ignore-absence-of-libsigsegv.)


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