Speaking of COBOL

Interesting article on the future of COBOL … perhaps a COBOL to Ruby
translator would ease some pain?

http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=266228

My guess is that the need to use COBOL has to do with the
present investment these companies have in systems already.
I highly doubt that organizations that are newish are using
it (or if they are it’s minor in comparison to older orgs).

Now, I do think that a translator would be super cool though.

Andy

Andrew L. wrote:

M. Edward (Ed) Borasky wrote:

Interesting article on the future of COBOL … perhaps a COBOL to Ruby
translator would ease some pain?

http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=266228

A COBOL refactoring IDE written in Ruby! Sounds to me like
meta-programming at its finest. At one point long ago, I thought it
would be a good idea to learn COBOL, but I gave up on it and stayed with
FORTRAN and assembler. Then all kinds of interesting things happened,
like character sets including lower case, the Cuban Missile Crisis,
System\360, and the Vietnam War. Maybe now is a good time to take up
COBOL again. :slight_smile:

Could you say COBOL is a domain-specific language for maintaining COBOL
legacy code?

On Sun, 15 Oct 2006, M. Edward (Ed) Borasky wrote:

A COBOL refactoring IDE written in Ruby! Sounds to me like
meta-programming at its finest. At one point long ago, I thought it
would be a good idea to learn COBOL, but I gave up on it and stayed with
FORTRAN and assembler. Then all kinds of interesting things happened,
like character sets including lower case, the Cuban Missile Crisis,
System\360, and the Vietnam War. Maybe now is a good time to take up
COBOL again. :slight_smile:

Could you say COBOL is a domain-specific language for maintaining COBOL
legacy code?

Don’t dismiss all of the ideas in COBOL so quickly. For decades it has
been the only mainstream language to do decimal arithmatic. It also has
some excellent page formatting capabilities, also missing from
mainstream
languages.

All of this can easily be done in Ruby, unlike many other languages.

– Matt
It’s not what I know that counts.
It’s what I can remember in time to use.

Matt L. wrote:

Could you say COBOL is a domain-specific language for maintaining COBOL
legacy code?

Don’t dismiss all of the ideas in COBOL so quickly. For decades it has
been the only mainstream language to do decimal arithmatic. It also has
some excellent page formatting capabilities, also missing from
mainstream languages.

All of this can easily be done in Ruby, unlike many other languages.

Ah … so Ruby is not mainstream? Perhaps an ability to refactor legacy
COBOL will make it mainstream in spades!!

I always wondered why decimal arithmetic was built in to microprocessors
from day one, while floating point was added only later. Now I know …
more COBOL legacy code than FORTRAN legacy code. :slight_smile:

Page formatting? Isn’t that built into Perl, which I think is
“mainstream”? “Practical Extraction and Reporting Language”, right?

On Sun, 15 Oct 2006, M. Edward (Ed) Borasky wrote:

Ah … so Ruby is not mainstream? Perhaps an ability to refactor legacy
COBOL will make it mainstream in spades!!

Ruby is just starting to become mainstream. There are still a lot of
computer people who haven’t even heard of it.

Page formatting? Isn’t that built into Perl, which I think is
“mainstream”? “Practical Extraction and Reporting Language”, right?

Page formatting in Perl is nowhere near as powerful and easy to use as
what is provided in COBOL. I don’t know many perl programmers who use
it
regularly.

– Matt
It’s not what I know that counts.
It’s what I can remember in time to use.

Matt L. wrote:

Don’t dismiss all of the ideas in COBOL so quickly. For decades it has
been the only mainstream language to do decimal arithmatic.

PL/I, RPG, and Ada from Ada 95 on. And they all avoided the horrible
botch in COBOL’s precision handling that was not fixed until COBOL 2002
(and is still only optionally fixed).

M. Edward (Ed) Borasky wrote:

I always wondered why decimal arithmetic was built in to microprocessors
from day one, while floating point was added only later.

Actually, no. Decimal arithmetic in microprocessors goes back to the
original market that Intel invented microprocessors for in the first
place – desk calculators.

On 10/14/06, John W. Kennedy [email protected] wrote:

Matt L. wrote:

Don’t dismiss all of the ideas in COBOL so quickly. For decades it has
been the only mainstream language to do decimal arithmatic.

PL/I, RPG, and Ada from Ada 95 on.

Not to mention quite a few implementations of SQL. Certainly a
mainstream language albeit not a full programming language.


Rick DeNatale

My blog on Ruby
http://talklikeaduck.denhaven2.com/

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