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Re: [open-cobol-list] [open-Cobol-list] ENTRY statement: obsolete?

From: William M Klein
Subject: Re: [open-cobol-list] [open-Cobol-list] ENTRY statement: obsolete?
Date: Sun, 24 Aug 2014 10:09:59 -0500

Right after I sent my note, I realized I was wrong. The ENTER statement was
designated as OBSOLETE in the '85 Standard. I don't think the ENTRY
statement was Standard (at least after the '68 Standard). My explanation of
what OBSOLETE means is correct as is my technique for avoiding it a
"structure" and "conforming " program. However, it was ENTER not ENTRY that
was made OBSOLETE in '85.

-----Original Message-----
From: William M Klein [mailto:address@hidden 
Sent: Sunday, August 24, 2014 9:59 AM
To: Brian Tiffin; address@hidden
Subject: RE: [open-Cobol-list] ENTRY statement: obsolete?

                I think it would be useful to have an explanation of what
"OBSOLETE" means.

This is an ANSI/ISO Standard term with a specific meaning.  It means that it
will be removed from the next official Standard. The "ENTRY" statement was
designated as obsolete in the '85 Standard and was removed from the '02
Standard (and is still gone in the '14 Standard).

There is a requirement that a conforming implementation provide a flagging
mechanism to identify any obsolete feature used in a program. I don't know
if OC usually run '85 NIST OBSOLETE tests, but they do exist.

There is no requirement that a conforming implementation  ever remove this
features, however there is no expectation that they are portable to other
conforming implementations.

The "expected" technique that you can use without ENTRY is to start your
program with an EVALUATE statement that does a CALL to nested program
depending on the function that you want.  You can then use a nested program
with the COMMON attribute for functions that are needed by multiple nested
programs. The OMITTED keyword can be used if you have a different number of
parameters for different functions.

-----Original Message-----
From: Brian Tiffin [mailto:address@hidden 
Sent: Sunday, August 24, 2014 12:22 AM
To: address@hidden
Subject: Re: [open-cobol-list] ENTRY statement: obsolete?

Scott McKellar wrote:
> What does it mean that the FAQ labels the ENTRY statement as obsolete (or
any other statement for that matter)?
> Does it mean "Don't use it because it's likely to go away?"  Or does it
just mean "Don't use it because it's unfashionable and I don't like it?"
> I ask because I'm writing a new subprogram using ENTRY.  It encapsulates a
complex data structure, with a separate entry point for each supported
> If ENTRY is going away, I can write the program differently.  However no
alternative that I can think of is very appealing, except perhaps to rewrite
it in C.  ENTRY does exactly what I want.
> If ENTRY will continue to be available, I'll use it, and shrug off the
> Scott McKellar

Scott.  In my opinion, use it and shrug.  ENTRY is not even mentioned in 
COBOL 2014, but is one handy statement.  I've reworded the FAQ.  The 
default.conf configuration has it listed as 'obsolete', mf.conf as 
'ok'.  It'll be supported in GNU Cobol for some time to come.

Opinion. But I'll rail against any change that threatens the feature.   
It's too handy, and makes for nice concise code blocks with a shared 
data space.

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