Chapter 8: Editing and Animating (Debugging)

This chapter lists differences in facilities for editing and debugging that might require you to change familiar methods of working when you move from COBOL Workbench to Mainframe Express.

8.1 Overview

Where in COBOL Workbench you would use Animator V2, you use the Integrated Development Environment (IDE) in Mainframe Express. All editing and debugging is done in the IDE.

The IDE resembles Animator V2 in being a graphical interface where you can open one or more windows containing files to edit or debug (though the IDE does much more besides). No distinction is made between opening for editing and opening for execution. Opening a COBOL file or copybook opens the same kind of window - called a text window - whether you are editing or debugging.

The term animating is not generally used in Mainframe Express - the term debugging is used instead.

Because the IDE is the interface to all functions in Mainframe Express, the functions for editing and debugging have been collected together onto just four of the pulldown menus - Edit, View, Search, and Debug. These menus may contain other functions as well. However, if you look through these menus you should find it easy to recognize the familiar editing and debugging functions.

8.2 Details

This section advises on what to use where an Animator V2 feature is not in Mainframe Express or has changed. Where we believe you can continue using a feature without change, it is not mentioned. This book does not cover enhancements.

8.2.1 Analyze

Function to count the number of times a statement has been executed.

Status in Mainframe Express:

Not included.

8.2.2 Backtrack

Function to show the path that execution has taken through the program up to the point where you are currently paused.

Status in Mainframe Express:

Not included.

What to use in future:

Use Call Stack on the Debug Windows submenu of the View menu to display the Call/Perform stack. This gives a dynamic view of the current execution path. It works across programs, shows Assembler modules loaded as part of the application, shows even programs that are not currently compiled for debugging, doesn’t have to be enabled before use, and doesn’t have a limit on the amount of history shown.

8.2.3 Find COBOL Item Information

Facility in CSI to search for occurrences of a COBOL item (for example, a data item or procedure name) or items.

Status in Mainframe Express:

Although it does not provide all of this functionality, you can use Find COBOL Item on the Search menu.This displays size information for the COBOL item on the status line at the bottom of the IDE's main window.

8.2.4 Keyboard Shortcuts

Keystrokes to invoke functions. Examples are Shift+Del to cut, Shift +Ins to paste, F4 to delete a line, F6 to restore a line, and Alt+F4 to save.

Status in Mainframe Express:

Available for backward compatibility. By default, Mainframe Express uses Microsoft-standard keyboard shortcuts.

To continue using the old way:

You can load a Micro Focus keyboard scheme. To do this, select Customize IDE from the Options menu, then select the Keyboard Configuration tab. Click Load Scheme, and select mf.key and click OK. You can then use the old style shortcuts.

What to use in future:

To become familiar with the new standard, go to the Keyboard Configuration page as above, and review the mappings in there. You can enter a key sequence in the Press new shortcut key field to see the mapping of any key combination.

On the menus, each function has its equivalent toolbar button and/or shortcut key listed alongside.

There is a list of the two sets of shortcuts in the Reference section of the online help.

In Windows 95 and Windows NT, Alt+F4 terminates the application. So with the new standard, pressing Alt+F4 closes the IDE.

8.2.5 Step All

Function to execute at a set speed, showing the flow of control through a source program by highlighting each statement as it is executed.

Status in Mainframe Express:

Included, but you cannot vary the speed.

8.2.6 Column Marking

Facility to mark a column of text using the mouse.

Status in Mainframe Express:

Included. To enable this option, click Edit on the Options menu, then click the Blocks/Clipboard tab. Select Select column blocks when dragging, except when in the prefix area, and click OK.

With this option set, dragging the mouse selects a rectangular block. Without this option set, dragging the mouse selects all text between the start and end points.

8.2.7 Command Prompt

Facility to bring up a command prompt within Animator V2 (by pressing Ctrl+F11), where you can enter edit commands..

Status in Mainframe Express:

Not included.

8.2.8 Run Return and Run Thru

Functions to execute without debugging up to the return from the current procedure (Run Return), and through the procedure executed by the currently highlighted PERFORM statement (Run Thru).

Status in Mainframe Express:

Both included, but with a restriction. You cannot use them when debugging optimized (.gnt) COBOL programs compiled with a mainframe dialect, because these dialects have OSVS-style PERFORMs, which invalidate these functions.

8.2.9 Sequence Numbering

Facility to generate line numbers down the left-hand side of a COBOL source file.

Status in Mainframe Express:

Not included

8.2.10 Watch Function

Function to display the values of all the fields used in a statement before and after stepping that statement.

Status in Mainframe Express:

Included, but known as the Watch list.

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