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Re: [open-cobol-list] Proposed addition to OpenCOBOL: an object module g

From: David Essex
Subject: Re: [open-cobol-list] Proposed addition to OpenCOBOL: an object module generator
Date: Tue, 26 May 2009 20:41:16 -0400
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.7) Gecko/20040618

Jeff Chimene wrote:

That's certainly the approach I'd take if I
was starting from scratch.

Well, actually NOT from scratch.
You have a scanner/parser, run-time, syntax tree.
I would say about 40-50% complete. Over optimistic ? Maybe.

In any case I think it can be done, with the proper sponsor, financing.

The biggest hurdle I see is official incorporation into GCC.
Perhaps that's not as big a hurdle as it seems.

Not likely to happen any time soon.
But then again, other compilers use the GCC back-end.
Some, such as GCC-Pascal, eventually became part of GCC (FSF supported

On the debugging side, here is another possible approach. It's
basically the one that's appeared in various guises in this thread:

Ignoring the JIT stuff, it would seem that cobc is well on the way to
supporting the necesary call-backs as demonstrated by those Python
data dump routines.

Given the wealth of scripting languages supported by OC, it's really a
matter of designing and implementing useful COBRTL routines for them
to call.

COBOL_OC_DUMP is certainly useful.

Which ever approach chosen, you still have to find a way to pass
debugging information (COBOL->C->binary-object).
No small task, I don't think.

Perhaps the simplest possible approach is to add 'READY/RESET TRACE'
COBOL extension. In combination with 'DISPLAY', it is a good tool for
debugging classic type COBOL programs.


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