6 char externs and the ANSI stan

Henry Spencer henry at utzoo.UUCP
Tue Nov 6 03:48:15 AEST 1984

> Particularly significant is the observation that the COBOL standard
> demands 30 characters.  A C standard that does not demand at least the same
> will be the result of the triumph of short-sightedness.

C is not Cobol [thank Ghod!].  Unless I'm much mistaken, systems like
MVS cannot meet Cobol's 30-character rule either, without some sort of
messy kludge.  But there the user acceptance of Cobol is already so
overwhelming that the manufacturers are driven to supply Cobol compilers
even if they can't quite conform.  C is not yet accepted that thoroughly.

P.S. Does Cobol require 30-character significance for *external* identifiers
(or whatever the brain-damaged Cobol equivalent is)?  It's been a long time
since I encountered Cobol, and I have no desire to go back to it, but my
vague recollection is that the 30-character minimum was for *internal* names.
				Henry Spencer @ U of Toronto Zoology

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