Re: Micro Focus COBOL runtime, /clr:pure, etc.
- From: Michael Wojcik <mwojcik@xxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Mon, 23 Feb 2009 11:52:45 -0500
I'll definitely try the Generate Directives File setting. However, you
didn't say anything about an equivalent for /clr:pure.
We can produce pure (and verifiable) MSIL from .NET COBOL. But that's
not the same thing as not having any Micro Focus runtime requirements.
Microsoft's /clr:pure creates an assembly that contains only managed
code. (/clr by itself allows a mix of managed and unmanaged code.)
That's the default with MF .NET COBOL's ILGEN directive. To get impure
code, you add a reference to an unmanaged DLL, or use the ILNATIVE
directive to add an unmanaged DLL to the assembly.
Microsoft's /clr:safe generates a pure, verifiable assembly. The Micro
Focus equivalent is ILVERIFY.
But even verifiable assemblies can depend on assemblies that aren't
part of the .NET Framework. And all MF COBOL assemblies have
dependencies on the MF managed COBOL runtime assemblies.
COBOL programs typically do lots of things that aren't MSIL primitive
operations - things like handling edited data types, converting
between COBOL data types and .NET native types, handling complex COBOL
verbs such as INSPECT. And .NET COBOL programs can be written in
procedural fashion; that requires implementing non-OO constructs with
OO mechanisms under the covers. (PERFORMed paragraphs and sections are
wrapped as methods, and so forth.) All of that requires a lot of
support at runtime, and that's what the license pays for.
As Pete and others have pointed out, this does mean that you can't use
MF COBOL to create freeware or shareware programs that can be used by
anyone with just the .NET Framework installed. You *can* create
programs that can be used by anyone with a commercial, academic, or
personal version of MF COBOL installed. (And soon there will be some
kind of licensing arrangements for running in Azure and other clouds;
I don't know what those will look like.)
I'm sympathetic to people who'd like to be able to write open-source
MF COBOL programs. But I also understand the business decisions behind
the current licensing models. We're not Microsoft; we don't make money
when people buy the Windows application stack to run programs created
with the free version of Visual Studio.
Rhetoric & Writing, Michigan State University
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