Re: Translating Algol to C or Cobol

juliar@hpcll17.HP.COM (Julia Rodriguez)
6 Jun 89 17:05:45 GMT

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Translating Algol to C or Cobol deh0654@sjfc.UUCP (1989-05-16)
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Re: Translating Algol to C or Cobol juliar@hpcll17.HP.COM (1989-06-06)
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From: juliar@hpcll17.HP.COM (Julia Rodriguez)
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: 6 Jun 89 17:05:45 GMT
References: <539@sjfc.UUCP>
Organization: Hewlett-Packard Calif. Language Lab

>/ deh0654@sjfc.UUCP (Dennis E. Hamilton) / 5:03 pm May 16, 1989 /

>a tough bet to make. The translation to COBOL is even more limited,
>of course, since COBOL has no concept of local data at all, and the
>only form of dynamic data binding COBOL supports is the limited case of
>parameter passing. You might as well translate to FORTRAN. COBOL
>doesn't support pointers, so it provides little comfort as a way to fake
>ALGOL notions in the disguise of other constructs that are available.
>In no case would I expect a translation of ALGOL to COBOL to be
>intelligible to a human programmer, ...

Just a couple of corrections in regard to COBOL. The 85 standard
(ANSI X2.23-1985) added several facilities to COBOL. Among them are:
nested programs, global data, and external data. COBOL does have the
concept of local/global data. It does support dynamic data binding other
than parameter passing.

It is true that COBOL does not support pointers.

I do not think that a translation to COBOL would be less intelligible than
a translation to C. Automated translations are rarely intelligible in any

Julia Rodriguez
X3J4 member
[From juliar@hpcll17.HP.COM (Julia Rodriguez)]

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