RE: Two technical questions on IEEE Std 754-2008
Michel Hack wrote:
So I think it would be wise to avoid specifying too much at the
language level. What you should consider (in my opinion) is means
to tag data fields (not the contents) at the IMPLEMENTATION level
as to encoding, to be prepared for implementations that might have
native BID support.
I could not agree more.
If Cobol supports only the decimal encoding ('DPD') for decimal floating-point
and Cobol code will run on Intel Architecture processors using the software
implementation of Decimal FP already available in the form of the Intel(r)
Decimal Floating-Point Math Library [open source] which uses the binary
encoding ('BID') for efficiency, then the Cobol code will run much slower than
it has to because of the continuous need to convert back and forth between the
So I urge the Cobol standards working group to support both encoding formats
specified by IEEE Std 754-2008, and thus avoid a significant performance
penalty on a large number of platforms such code will run on.