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What about COBOL

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Why is everyone hating cobol so much ? I have to take a COBOL class next semester and Im pretty scared from what I see heh. What''s wrong with it except spaghetti-code ?

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COBOL is no worse than any other language for spagetti code, it just has a large repository of it out there so you tend to run accross it more than other languages.

COBOL has a bit of a bad rap, its a great language for doing what its meant to do - processing data line by line. Easy to learn, easy to use, some overhead but it makes maintanence rather easy. I did a semester of it at Uni coz looking through the papers over half the jobs advertised wanted it. Worked in it for a couple of years then moved to PC''s.

*shrug* a language is a language. Use the right one for the job, or more particularly don''t use one for a job its not suited for, and they all have their place.

- Ben Scott

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Yup, I agree with ShonTsu.

I think many of the people on here who get forced to do it at college/uni have ambitions of writing games and don''t like COBOL because it feels like you can only write things like databases in it. But that''s the point, the whole language is geared around forms and database concepts. For doing that stuff it''s ideal and easy. Forget fancy graphics, earlier incarnations aren''t even interactive (i.e. no keyboard or display).

The over fussiness with regard to syntax of many COBOL compilers annoys many people (you didn''t put blah in exactly column x so you get an error), particularly if they''ve already used BASIC or C compilers which go too far the other way.

I actually do think it''s beneficial to be forced to use it for a while because it _forces_ you to think about the layout and structure of your data and how your algorithms work.

Well thought out data structures and many concepts from databases are extremely relevent to all programming - games aren''t an exception to this.


--
Simon O''Connor
Creative Asylum Ltd
www.creative-asylum.com

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There are modern flavors of COBOL, but I doubt the univeristy will be teaching them (there's OO and even a .Net adaptation).

The biggest problem with COBOL (and Fortran) is that they predate the structured programming movement that eventually gave us C and Pascal. Both languages have been updated over the years, but just because Fortran90 exist, doesn't mean you get to use a Fortran90 compiler (77 seems to be the popular brand).


[edited by - Magmai Kai Holmlor on March 24, 2003 7:24:09 PM]

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xMcBaiNx,


Do not fear the COBOL.
And if you need any help with it let me know. I have 25 years experience with IBM COBOL I, II and III. And can help you with MVS JCL too if needed.



April

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I actually had to learn and use COBOL in my last summer job. I had never taken a course in it, but I quickly and easily picked up the basics in the first few weeks enough to be writing my own rather large projects for the company I was working for. I actually found it kind of fun to program in (as long as it was for that summer and not forever). It''s another language that I can say I have some experience in. Overall I liked it and like what''s been said above, it is well suited for what it is used for even today.

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Just looking at COBOL code makes me want to club a baby seal.

------------------------------
BASIC programmers don''t die, they just GOSUB and don''t return.

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Wow, I''m surprised this hasn''t become a COBOL hate mail list. I can''t help but to recall a quote I laughed alot over:
"The use of COBOL cripples the mind; its teaching should, therefore, be regarded as a criminal offense" Edsgar Dijstra.

Seriously though, COBOL can be fun, it is so much different than modern languages such as C/C++/C#/Java. I am currently taking it in uni, but as a 2nd year elective. I think everyone should have to take it, because it gives you a broader skill range. I would love to see some one make a game in cobol though. I think it would be fairly easy now with .NET, that way you could write your graphical part in "Insert favorite language that supports openGL/DirectX", but write the actual engine part in COBOL. It would work in my mind, but that''s a far cry from reality. Anyone up to the challenge?

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quote:
Original post by April
xMcBaiNx,


Do not fear the COBOL.
And if you need any help with it let me know. I have 25 years experience with IBM COBOL I, II and III. And can help you with MVS JCL too if needed.



April


eeew Job Control Language isn''t that for the old mainframes or ''glup'' has it been updated

I didn''t like Fortran or Cobol but so what it was college credit right. Although I had some fun with QBasic.

Do you work for the state or something??

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quote:
Original post by YodaTheCoda
cobol is not only useful but it is nesisary, as all code is complied to cobol even before asembelry. this is why cobol is stil lin general circulation


^^^^^
Ignore him.

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quote:

There are modern flavors of COBOL, but I doubt the univeristy will be teaching them (there''s OO and even a .Net adaptation).


Dead right there. They tend to teach COBOL 86.
Its ugly code and has awkward ways of storing some things, but it suits it''s purposes.

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quote:
Original post by tuita
Dead right there. They tend to teach COBOL 86.
Its ugly code and has awkward ways of storing some things, but it suits it''s purposes.


RM85 when I was at college.

screen clears achieved with "WRITE ALL SPACES..." etc mmm

--
Simon O''Connor
Creative Asylum Ltd
www.creative-asylum.com

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