Re: Stylistic note on loops

Lew Pitcher <>
Mon, 08 Nov 2010 17:14:34 -0500
On November 8, 2010 17:02, in comp.lang.c, martin@address-in-sig.invalid

On Mon, 08 Nov 2010 22:37:34 +0200, Niklas Holsti wrote:

Martin Gregorie wrote:

On Sun, 07 Nov 2010 15:08:04 -0800, Nick Keighley wrote:

COBOL programmers are supposedly unaware of what a global variable is
(allegedly everything is global).

There's no allegedly about it: global is a non-term in COBOL. All data
items are defined in one section or another of the program's DATA
DIVISION and have the same scope, i.e. all data is accessible by any
executable statement in the program.

According to Wikipedia, that was true for earlier forms of COBOL, but
the current standard includes local variables, too.

Are you sure? "COBOL 2002 and object-oriented COBOL" mentions locale-
based processing, not local variables, and "Features" says that it
originally had no local variables but not that they have been added.

IBM's COBOL compilers support the LOCAL-STORAGE SECTION (which provides
a "threadable" or "object" isolated storage) along with the usual
WORKING-STORAGE SECTION (which provides a compile-unit-wide storage).

FWIW, COBOL programs are typically managed in a way similar to C functions;
each COBOL program (typically) represents one callable entrypoint (i.e. a
single "function") with arguments ("LINKAGE SECTION"), local static
variables ("WORKING-STORAGE SECTION"), and (now) thread/object-local static

I suppose if you include callable programs (i.e. with LINKAGE SECTIONs)
in the same source file as the program that calls them you could say the
data items in the data division of the callable programs are local, but
thats about it. In any case I consider the concept of a multi-program
source file to be a misfeature the typical COBOL program is big enough
already without putting several of them in a single source file.

Lew Pitcher
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