Re: Two technical questions on IEEE Std 754-2008
" The direction is to have a given COBOL program not only run on, but
produce the same results on, any machine that supports the language"
I fear that isn't actually practical (other than via approaches like Apple's old SANE) for floating point.
I appreciate your schedule problem, and also the desire to do "the right thing". But given the schedule, I don't think it's going to be possible to do a good job on "right" so I repeat my suggestion... for this release, map full IEEE conformance to "native" (doubtless vendors will have to have a external to Cobol method to pick old native or new native) and pretty much keep what you have from 2002.
Work on doing better in a future revision or technical report.
Doing something in haste in a Standard almost always creates more problems than it solves, at least from my X3J3/J3/WG5 (Fortran) experience.