Bill Gunshannon bill.gunshannon at hotmail.com
Tue Mar 15 11:39:13 CDT 2022

On 3/15/22 09:12, Paul Koning wrote:
>> On Mar 14, 2022, at 9:05 PM, Bill Gunshannon via cctalk <cctalk at classiccmp.org> wrote:
>> On 3/14/22 20:53, Paul Koning via cctalk wrote:
>>> Saw a note on the GCC list that I thought some here might find interesting: it announces the existence (not quite done but getting there) of a COBOL language front end for GCC.  Interesting.  For those who deal in legacy COBOL applications that want a more modern platform, I wonder if this might be a good way to get there.  Run old COBOL dusty decks on Linux, yeah...
>> We already have GnuCOBOL which works just fine (most of the time).
> Yes, although that one is apparently more limited.  

In what way?

> And GnuCOBOL is a COBOL to C converter.  gcobol is a full front end.  

Is there some shortcoming in using C as an intermediate language?

> One difference is that GDB will be able to do COBOL mode debugging.

Never had a reason to try it but I thought GnuCOBOL allowed the use
of GDB.  FAQ seems to say it can be used.

>>> I wonder if I can make build that front end with the pdp11 back-end.  :-)
>> I wasn't aware it was still possible to build the PDP-11 back-end.  I
>> thought support for that was dropped ages ago.
> No, it's still there.  I picked it up when it needed a maintainer.  It's actually been upgraded to deal with GCC changes, for example the new condition code handling which produces somewhat better code.  (Also the new register allocator, as an option, which unfortunately produces somewhat worse code.)

I may take a look at that although I'm a K&R kinda guy so things like
DEC C and DECUS C are usually fine with me.


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