Idea Details

Assembler Data Field Display

Last activity 06-08-2018 10:21 AM
MICHAEL SCHMITT's profile image
11-09-2016 03:52 PM

[This Idea was previously submitted as Support Connect DAR 13394592-2: D OR K ASSEMBLER IMPROVEMENT]


When debugging assembler programs in CA-InterTest Batch, it only displays data fields as Hex. It is not using the actual field type to format the display. This occurs throughout the product, including the KEEP, DISPLAY, and D, K line commands.


For example, given the following line from an assembler program:

0009D0 D207 DF44 E028 00FFC 00028  1078          MVC   RPVIMPSB,INQEPSB


and both fields are DS CL8,


an Autokeep window displays:

18CFFF64 HX    000000 02 R13!+F44                     0000000000000000

18CFFBD0 HX    000000 02 R14!+28                      E6C9D4E7F5F3F0F0


There are two problems:

  1. When a Keep is done implicitly or explicitly on a data name, the data name should be displayed in the keep line. Otherwise the programmer doesn't know which data field the keep line is for. (Note that the data name may also have an offset. For example, if the code was MVC RPVIMPSB+5,INQEPSB, then the offset would need to be displayed in the keep line.)
  2. Keeps and Displays should format the data according to the type of data storage/constant. For example:

DS/DC    Format as

A            address

B            bit string

C            character string

X            hex

F            binary fullword

H           binary halfword

P           packed decimal



(Binary and packed numbers should format as their decimal values, just as InterTest does for COBOL data items.)


If the programmer needs to see the actual hex contents of the field, then could do that via the Hex display command.


06-08-2018 10:21 AM

I'll need to check in an assembler debugging session, but I think that some data types have a higher priority than others. Character is one. If I recall, displaying binary (H, F) has hex instead of as decimal also ranks as harder to understand.


Note: The value should displays the same as how a user codes it in assembler.  For example, when you give a value for a halfword e.g. H'1234', you enter the value in decimal, not binary. So it should display in decimal.

06-08-2018 01:10 AM

Hello Michael,


this idea has a merit and it fits well into the product as well as other ideas from you. As you can imagine, the product team has to choose between different priorities and this idea is unfortunately not near to the top of the list. It is especially due to low interest and that assembler is not the first language of choice when using InterTest.


We have discussed your idea within development team and one opinion that came out of the discussion is, that the value of this idea is specially with strings and not that much with number formats. Would you agree?


I don't see getting into this idea in its full scope anytime soon unfortunately.


Please do not hesitate to contact me directly if you would like to see InterTest/SymDump road map and you would want to influence it with your ideas.


Kind regards, Petr