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February 22, 1989


By CBR Staff Writer

The process is laboriously slow and many software developers still wonder whether it is really worth the effort, but languages and tools specifically designed for IBM and Microsoft Corp’s OS/2 operating system are beginning to appear, and a couple from UK companies made their debut up in Birmingham this week. We noted on Monday Micro Focus Plc’s new Dialog product, designed to enable software developers to move their Cobol applications across to OS/2 and Presentation Manager without too much effort (CI No 1,119), and another UK compiler company, Prospero Software Ltd, has an OS/2-specific version of its product. London’s Prospero claims it is helping to bridge the MS-DOS-OS/2 applications gap with a new release of its Pascal package designed for OS/2 environments. The company says Prospero Pascal 5.1 will enable developers to take advantage of OS/2’s multi tasking and protected mode features, while still being able to generate software to run under MS-DOS. Although the new compiler runs under OS/2, its output can run under either operating system. This is achieved via the provision of two proprietary libraries – one for OS/2 and an additional one for MS-DOS – which developers can link into, once a program has been compiled. Workbench/editor The package also includes a workbench/editor, a multi-screen editor for invoking compiler and linking operations, a source level debugger, Probe, designed for the protected mode environment, and a modified function call interface, which provides direct calling of OS/2. Prospero claims the latter will provide a direct gateway to OS/2 enhancements, when they arrive. To users of its existing Version 3.1 compiler for MS-DOS, the company says that, bar a few minor exceptions, 5.1 incorporates the language definitions of 3.1. However object libraries will not be compatible, and assembler modules will require modification to run under OS/2. The licence fee for the OS/2 version, available now, is UKP320, and there is a discount for 3.1 users. Prospero is demonstrating the new software at this week’s Which Computer? Show up in Birmingham.

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