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Re: [open-cobol-list] Cobol / Linux / X-Windows

From: John Culleton
Subject: Re: [open-cobol-list] Cobol / Linux / X-Windows
Date: Mon, 16 Feb 2009 10:35:37 -0500
User-agent: KMail/1.9.10

On Sunday 15 February 2009 11:45:39 pm Bill Klein wrote:
> The following note was posted this weekend in
> comp.lang.cobol.  There have been a few replies (such as
> But the question for this list (and the forum) is
>  Does anyone have any experience or suggestions for this
> OpenCOBOL user? (Especially any EXPERIENCE that they
> could share)
> > Oh how do I get myself into nasty little messes like
> > this? A friend of mine was laid off from his job (damn
> > bank!) and is now getting in pretty desparate
> > straights. So he took a consulting job - on spec no
> > less - and has been handed a mess.
> >
> > His project is to port some old PrimeOS (!!) Cobol code
> > to Linux. So I gave him an x86 box with Linux and
> > OpenCOBOL installed on it. And he was off. Till the
> > buggers he contracted with sprung a surprise on him -
> > they are demanding that he produce a Linux GUI.
> >
> > (damn bank! damn bank#2!)
> >
> > Does anyone have any experience with hooking OpenCOBOL
> > into XWindows? And if so, would you be willing to share
> > a few tips with me on how to go about doing it??

It is easy with Tcl/Tk and Expect variant thereof to pass 
things back and forth to a COBOL program via ACCEPT and 
DISPLAY.  However the gotcha is that the Expect program is 
in charge. If you can live with this, setting up the Expect 
program with a main menu to select a data entry screen and 
then converse with a COBOL program that can be done. 
However very quickly this becomes more of a Tcl app than 
a COBOL app. 

TinyCobol is mostly compatible with Open Cobol. It has 
example routines showing tie ins with Tcl/TK and cgi-bin.  
However TC  is not under development at present. 

The hard part is writing a COBOL program that calls a 
subordinate tcl program. TinyCobol handles this through a C 
language subprogram. 

Rildo Pragana, who wrote TinyCobol, used a Tcl generator 
called Vtcl to produce the tcl/tk windows. I haven't had 
good luck with Vtcl. But the windows can be produced using 
regular tcl/tk coding. 

This is of course not an Open Cobol solution.  And Rildo can 
no longer work on TC. But it is worth a try. 

John Culleton

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