COBOL 2014

The Lounge
2014-07-22
2014-07-30
  • Brian Tiffin
    Brian Tiffin
    2014-07-22

    Did anyone hear about

    ISO/IEC 1989:2014
    Information technology -- Programming languages, their environments and system software interfaces -- Programming language COBOL

    being published, ummm, back in May, ??

    Curious as to why this news wasn't on CNN, or CBC, or did I miss the town crier that day? ;-)

    Cheers,
    Brian

    Correction:
    Donald Nelson, lead author of the document, clarified: The spec has been Published, but as of July 28th, is awaiting Approval. There was no news missed, as it isn't quite news yet. Close, but not quite. Sorry for ringing the bells early.

     
    Last edit: Brian Tiffin 2014-07-28
    • Simon Sobisch
      Simon Sobisch
      2014-07-22

      Nope. Thank you for this information.

      Here is the link to iso.org with no preview available and quite expensive to buy the PDF, here is a link to a much cheaper version providing the following preview (From beginning of the document to "2 Normative References", including the table of content).

      As the PDF is not that cheap: can anyone highlight the important changes from the possible still free to access FCD (free like in free beer, not in free software/speech ;-)?

      BTW: I didn't find any "We do not own COBOL" part in ISO/IEC 1989:2014 preview.

       
    • Knowing that lot properly want an arm and a leg to buy it.

      Very expensive .pdf's !

       
      Last edit: Simon Sobisch 2014-09-05
    • Bernard Giroud
      Bernard Giroud
      2014-07-23

      Was at least announced by a tweet dated 01:45 - 4 juin 2014 by ANSI ISO
      (@ansi_iso).

      Bernard

       
      Last edit: Simon Sobisch 2014-09-05
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  • Edward Hart
    Edward Hart
    2014-07-23

    This topic gave me a shock – I had the exact same thing sitting in my drafts. At least I can reply more quickly, then! Note: the following is based on the 2010 Final Committee Draft, which I assume the finished standard does not differ too much from.

    Headline changes:

    • Dynamic-capacity tables – for those with memory constraints or who dislike bounded sizes.
    • Structured constants (CONSTANT RECORD) – a more flexible, faster alternative to INITIALIZE.
    • Method overloading – for those who use OO.
    • ANY LENGTH items have been overhauled – see below.

    Other changes:

    • Standard arithmetic has been made obsolete and new IEEE 754 USAGE's have been added
    • Lots of features have been made optional (e.g. the report writer, SCREEN SECTION, object-orientation, VALIDATE*)
    • New formatted date intrinsic functions (conforming to ISO 8601), as well as TRIM and SECONDS-PAST-MIDNIGHT
    • 8 rounding modes
    • function pointers
    • Non-numeric literals are now between 0 and 65,535 characters long.

    ANY LENGTH items:

    Previously, ANY LENGTH items existed only in the LINKAGE SECTION. Now, they can be used anywhere. They can be null-terminated and stored via a pointer (I presume) via the INDIRECT clause*, thereby allowing seamless interaction with C libraries. They can also be prefixed with a number containing their length and can have maximum sizes. The default structure of an ANY LENGTH item is implementor-defined.

    One gotcha I foresee is  MOVE SPACES TO any-length-item  which will now set that item's length to zero, not fill it with spaces!

    * I want to believe it will be implemented one day.

    ** In the 2010 FCD, INDIRECT is referenced multiple times but never actually defined so I have no idea where you use it.

     
  • Brian Tiffin
    Brian Tiffin
    2014-07-28

    I added a correction to the top post. I jumped the gun. The spec is Published, but as of July 28th, is still awaiting Approval, expected shortly.

    Apologies for spreading technically inaccurate information. The official ISO/IEC announcement hasn't happened yet.

    Sincerely,
    Brian

     
    • Edward Hart
      Edward Hart
      2014-07-29

      Approval from whom? As the standard has been published, ISO must have already approved it.

      Are they waiting for ANSI to adopt the standard? It featured in the draft agenda of their April meeting (282f).

       
  • Brian Tiffin
    Brian Tiffin
    2014-07-30

    Edward,

    I can't speak to the ins and outs of ISO/IEC, but Donald Nelson, the lead author of the spec, posted this to LinkedIn, (it's an open group, luckily, so I'm pretty sure this is ok to copy along with the link)

    I sent the final draft of the 2014 standard off a year ago. I finally got some comments for minor repairs back a few months ago. I sent the final final copy off in April, but got another comment and sent the final final final copy off in May. I think the actual approval is underway and should end very soon.

    http://lnkd.in/dqWuSDW

    And Thane Hubbell posted (in a closed group, so this is a paraphrase) that just happens to look almost identical to the original :-)

    Normally we have ISO publication followed by ANSI adoption.
    It's significant.
    I don't know the ANSI status
    

    So, the confetti and fanfare awaits, I guess.

    Cheers,
    Brian

     
    Last edit: Brian Tiffin 2014-07-30