Monday, February 28, 2011

Harbour/xharbour Diff (1/57) - COMPILE TIME SUPPORT FOR MERGING MULTIPLE .PRG MODULES by Przemyslaw Czerpak

Clipper allows to compile many .prg modules included by @.clp and/or SET PROCEDURE TO ... / DO ... [ WITH ... ] into single output object. In such compilation it supports, separated for each .prg file, file wide declarations when -n switch is used and allows to use more then one static function with the same name if each of them is declared in different .prg modules. This code illustrates such situation:

/***** t1. prg *****/
static s := "t01:s"
static s1 := "t01:s1"
proc main()
? "===="
? s, s1
? "===="
do t2
? "===="
proc p1 ; ? "t01:p1"
static proc p2 ; ? "t01:p2"
static proc p3 ; ? "t01:p3"
init proc pi ; ? "init t01:pi"
exit proc pe ; ? "exit t01:pe"

/***** t2. prg *****/
static s := "t02:s"
static s2 := "t02:s2"
proc t2()
? s, s2
static proc p1 ; ? "t02:p1"
proc p2 ; ? "t02:p2"
static proc p3 ; ? "t02:p3"
init proc pi ; ? "init t02:pi"
exit proc pe ; ? "exit t02:pe"

It needs -n switch for file wide declarations and uses static/init/exit functions with the same names but declared in different modules. It can be compiled and linked by Clipper and Harbour, i.e.:

cl t1.prg /n/w/es2
hbmk2 t1.prg -n -w -es2
and then executed.

xHarbour does not have such functionality and above code has to be adopted to work with this compiler. Additionally it does not work well with case sensitive file systems what can be seen in above example where it converts "t1" to "T1" and then tries to include "T1.prg".

For users which have old Clipper code written for DOS file systems with mixed upper and lower letters in file names used directly or indirectly by procedure name, Harbour provides compile time switches which enable automatic filename conversions for all files opened by compiler:

-fn[:[l|u]|-] set filename casing (l=lower u=upper)
-fd[:[l|u]|-] set directory casing (l=lower u=upper)
-fp[:] set path separator
-fs[-] turn filename space trimming on or off (default)

This functionality is also local to Harbour so cannot be used with xHarbour as workaround for above problem though it should be easy to add it to this compiler in the future.

Both compilers support runtime switches for file name conversions.


which can be used in programs not intended to work with different file system(s) and with different OS(s).

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Welcome to Clipper... Clipper... Clipper

In 1997, then using Delphi 3, I had already created 32-bits Windows applications for HRIS, ERP and CRM. In 2007, using Ruby on Rails, an AJAX powered CRM site running on Apache & MySQL was created and I am now using Visual Studio .Net 2008 to create web-based projects and Delphi 7 for Win32 applications using SQL2005 & DBFCDX.

So, why then am I reviving the Original Clipper... Clipper... Clipper via a Blog as CA-Clipper is a programming language for the DOS world ? Believe it or not, there are still some clients using my mission-critical CA-Clipper applications for DOS installed in the late 80's and up to the mid 90's. This is testimony to CA-Clipper's robustness as a language :-)

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You may ask, what is this Clipper stuff ? Could Clipper be something to do with sailing as it is the name of a very fast sailing American ship in the 19th century ?

Well, Clipper or to be precise, CA-Clipper is the premier PC-Software development tool for DOS. It was first developed by Nantucket Corporation initially as a compiler for dBase3+ programs. Since then, CA-Clipper has evolved away from its x-base roots with the introduction of lexical scoping & pre-defined objects like TBrowse. As at today, the most stable version ofClipper is 5.2e while the latest version, 5.3a was introduced on 21 May 1996.

As at 11th November, 1996, an unofficial 5.3a fixes file was made available by Jo French. See the About CA-Clipper 5.3a section for more details. BTW, Jo French uploaded the revised 5.3a fixes file on 20th November, 1996.

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The latest news is that CA has finally released the long-awaited 5.3b patch on 21 May, 1997.

For 5.3b users, you must a take a look at Jo French's comments on unfixed bugs in 5.3b.

BTW, have you used Click ? If you're a serious Clipperprogrammer and need an excellent code formatter, Click is a natural choice. How to get it ? Simple, access Phil Barnett's site via my Cool Clipper Sites.

32-bits Clipper for Windows ?

Have you tried Xbase ++ ? Well, I have and compared to Delphi (my current Windows programming tool of choice), I'm still sticking to Delphi.

Anyway, you should visit the Alaska Home Page. Give it a chance and then draw your own conclusions !.

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