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RE: Potential modifications to COBOL relative to IEEE 754




> I'm curious however how a programmer would write their code to run with
> best performance on either BID or DPD platforms when that program deals
> primarily wil local data (so the issue of import/export conversions does
> not arise). Will there be a means to declare the arithmetic to be the
> platform-preferred STANDARD-DECIMAL, in a *portable* manner? This could
> be an enquiry function that describes the execution environment, or could
> be handled by omission if each platform has a suitable default setting.

In my previous, I indicated that a "dual-platform" mode of arithmetic would likely entail a signfiicant performance hit; I can see a way that the selection of which encode/decode routines to use could be set in response to that inquiry (like, setting a pointer to the routines that will be used elsewhere in execution), so the performance hit can be reduced to the vanishing point (the cost of an indirect reference to the routines rather than a direct one). 
 
However, such a "dual-platform" object program still would represent an implementor-defined extension to standard COBOL; given the one-line change to the source code under standard COBOL to specify the desired platform, I don't think this is a capability that needs standardizing.  The COBOL standard makes no claim to produce multiple-platform-compatible OBJECT code, nor do I think it should.   
 
    -Chuck Stevens 

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