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[open-cobol-list] Re: COBOL Standards (follow-on note 1 of ???)

From: address@hidden
Subject: [open-cobol-list] Re: COBOL Standards (follow-on note 1 of ???)
Date: Sat Dec 11 07:08:05 2004


Thank you, for the information regarding the '02
standard. Perhaps supporting all of the 2002 standard
at this time is not a reasonable goal, at least not
until other vendors do so or unless a feature would be
beneficial. However COBOL 85 support still is a good
goal, true? Perhaps, hopefully, Open Cobol pretty much
already supports this.

What is the state of Open Cobols current standard
compliance? Does it currently have complete support
for the COBOL 85 Standards, and I also heard their
were a few later standards ('97 if memory serves me).
What is the status of the implementation of various
standards in Open Cobol.

A feature that I would think would be useful anyway is
support for object oriented Cobol, this would probably
help expand the usefulness of Open COBOL. 

Do the post-85 COBOL standards maintain backwards
compatability with COBOL 85? ALthough I think that  it
would be very good for Object Oriented COBOL and
beneficial features from new COBOL standards to be
supported, traditional COBOL, and COBOL 85,  should
also be continued to be supported as well, there is no
reason to change the nature of the existing language,
new features can be added while keeping compatability
with existing language I am sure. COBOL while it
should have new features added on top of what is
already there, it should continue to remain COBOL. One
of the reasons I am interested in COBOL is its unique
english like syntax which I actually find quite nice
to use. Although its good to see new features added,
we also need to keep support for the COBOL we all know
and love. People can in a language be given a choice
of what features to use. I believe in giving people
such choice, that if they want to use more traditional
usage they are free to do so, or they are also free to
choose to use newer features as well. Such as COBOL
line numbers, they shouldnt be required but if a user
wants to use COBOL line numbers, they should be able
to do so.

I have used Open COBOL many times and I have found it
to be quite a useful tool and a good concept. I like
the fact that it is not tied down to a particular CPU
which is a major limitation of some Cobol compilers. 

I think that as well the project should make sure that
their is an extensive C to COBOL interfaces, that are
solid and complete and that it is easy to access COBOL
from C and C from COBOL.  Allowing an easy interface
from COBOL to C libraries and vice versa, such as GUI,
Database, networking and other C libraries would
vastly improve the useability of Open Cobol, I

I believe that a good high quality open source COBOL
compiler furthermore will help expand the usage of
COBOL in general and continue to assure the continued
usage of COBOL, by making the language accessible to a
larger number of potential users. This is especially
needed at a time when it seems Cobols user base really
isnt expanding much, partly due to the lack of in the
past of easily avialable implementations.

I would like to help contribute to Open Cobol, but I
have few C skills. I am mainly a Perl programmer, that
is what I am quite familiar with, but I am also
learning more and more of COBOL since the language has
been quite pleasant and useful to me as well, and I
plan to use more of it in the future.   Ive browsed
the Open Cobol sources but I really dont know enough
to even understand how its put together. One thing
that can help with maintianability and help others
contribute is to add comments and documentation to the
code to explain what each part of the Open Cobol does
and how it all fits together. 

I've thought of looking into building an Inline::COBOL
module to allow COBOL code to be called from Perl
programs and an interface between Cobol and Perl to
ease allowing Cobol to be called from Perl and vice
versa. This would be done via the C interface to Open
Cobol since Perl can interface with C code already.

Thank you agian and keep up the good work on what is a
very important and essential project for the
increasing the avialability of a high quality
implementation of the cobol language.

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