Feature Request: Inspect multidimensional table values in debugger

With the current version of Visual COBOL it's impossible to inspect multidimentional table data items in a debugging session:

Inspecting table values - Current situation.png


Visual COBOL should be able to inspect multidimensional table data items like in this sketch:

Inspecting table values - Desired situation.png


  • If you hover over the actual table name (vStateData) instead of an elementary item within the table do you get the display that you desire?

  • Gee ... You are so right!

    Apparently, I was so acquainted to C#/VB array syntax that I ignored the fact that in COBOL addressing fields is different.

    I'm so in a hurry evaluating the extension and getting acquainted to the new language that I seem to get unmindful.

    I'm awfully sorry for any distraction I may have caused!
  • After giving it a second thought, I believe I should revive this thread.

    Here is why I believe the data value parser needs improvement:

    The current data presented when hovering the identifier shows information not related to the data currently being processed:DataTip - Current situation.png


    I suppose this behaviour relates to the Visual COBOL data value parser not recognizing the values in parentheses. Instead of including the values in parentheses in its quest of displaying a pertinent value it just substitutes the table index values with dummies (1, 1, n), thereby yielding useless information.

    So, to better describe my feature request:


    I propose to include the index values in parentheses when evaluating data values in the debugger:

    data value - current situation.png

    (current situation)


    data value - desired situation.png

     (desired situation)


    (I superimposed what I suggest the Micro Focus debugger code parser to evaluate at the white bar within the images.)

  • I just saw the Watcher window already managing to parse such data declaration:

    data value - watcher window.png


    Hence, I believe this enhancement should be a feasible one.

  • Hi,

    The behaviour for debug tooltips is configurable. See https://www.microfocus.com/documentation/visual-cobol/vc50/VS2019/GUID-302ED434-EFE1-4F96-BD35-69ADFB4A0793.html

    Specifically you'll want to toggle the "Show COBOL OCCURS or reference modification value" setting. To toggle the setting when debugging, right click in the editor, hover over "COBOL Debug Tooltip Style" and the setting should be there. 


    Hopfully this provides the behaviour you're wanting


  • Excellent! Thank you for your great suggestion! Looking good.


    Still, when this option is unchecked, then the data displayed doesn't make sense.

    I would expect the tooltip to display the array containing the current item, i.e. go one level up the data item group tree, not some unrelated first table row:

    Show OCCURS on.pngShow OCCURS on - data.png


    Show OCCURS off.pngShow OCCURS off - data.png


    (Kindly note the suggested (8, 1, 1) index in the last image compared to the actual (1, 1, 1) index used by the debugger.)


    I propose the change the behaviour of the unchecked option to display the array row being the parent of the currently active data item, not just the first table row.

  • The last "screenshot" of mine is actually a mock image I created, not a screenshot. Like I wrote in my previous message, the debugger actually displays (1, 1, 1), not the - as I believe - more appropriate (8, 1, 1).

    I added my sample project to my previous message to ease being able to reproduce this issue.

    Perhaps I just too unacquainted to see the advantage in displaying an arbitrary table row instead of the one currently being addressed. What is the benefit?