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Software The Internet

Cobol Isn't Dead 41

Posted by timothy
from the not-quite dept.
YellowYahoo writes "Ever wondered how to combine old and new technology for fun and profit? Doing their part to continue COBOL's dominance of installed software, Deskware has developed a COBOL based scripting language designed for serving web pages. Whether or not COBOL will succeed as the next great web language, is obvously up to some debate, but there is at least one active site deployed in Cobolscript. According to their FAQ, their main advantage is leveraging existing employees' programming knowledge. Does that make it a reasonable language to use? There's certainly some justification that COBOL makes a better langauge for implementing business rules than either Perl or Java. Time to dust off (or start learning?) all those older languages!"
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Cobol Isn't Dead

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  • ..their main advantage is leveraging existing employees' programming knowledge..
    geez. I can't leverage my existing employees' programming knowledge then - we go no one familiar with COBOL in our engineering staff of 200 :-s

    *sigh... life's tough
  • by Hulver (5850) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @10:25AM (#8713439) Homepage
    Your job will run overnight, and they'll email you the web page in the morning.
  • by twilight30 (84644) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @10:33AM (#8713540) Homepage
    ... there is at least one active site deployed in Cobolscript


    Not after today there isn't

  • Lol, that's rich. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by BoomerSooner (308737) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @10:35AM (#8713553) Homepage Journal
    I specifically didn't take Advanced COBOL in college because I didn't want a dead end job fixing Y2K bugs. I feel sorry for anyone that is working with those old JCL/COBOL based systems.

    Although, as more people start to fall from the ranks of "knowing" COBOL the remaining few that can service the large amount of systems out there should do really well financially.

    I have an old COBOL compiler for an ancient version of Xenix (2.3.4 I think) on 5.25" Floppies! I may dust it off and take a look for fun at some of the old code I've got laying around.

    COBOL programming is like these old guys I worked with that hang their hat on DOS programming in Clipper, sad. What was impressive in 1993, is no longer impressive.
    • Although, as more people start to fall from the ranks of "knowing" COBOL the remaining few that can service the large amount of systems out there should do really well financially.

      yes and no, actually- a good portion of the COBOL based systems out there right now are in the financial industry, which is not known for paying IT people well

      There's actually currently quite a few younger (ie 20's and 30's) people working on cobol systems now, so they'll have fresh bodies for a while.
      • ... financial industry, which is not known for paying IT people well

        Speak for yourself - I work in the finance industry as a coder and it pays pretty damn well. Not, I hasten to add, that I'd touch COBOL for all the Mountain Dew in America.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    There's certainly some justification that COBOL makes a better langauge for implementing business rules than either Perl or Java.
    So implement your business logic in COBOL and call it from your Java code (J2EE Connector Architecture [sun.com]) or Perl or whatever else.
  • by Bastian (66383) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @11:09AM (#8713908)
    . . . it's undead.
  • I took Cobol in college. Compared to C, C++, and Java, Cobol rocked. All the Cobol programs they had us write were data entry/update screens or batch fil e updates. One the biggest advantages of Cobol was that it was designed to make form entry and file access easy. For records keeping and "business processes," cobol was great. What was annoying about Cobol was having a professor that wanted the characters on the exact line though the compiler didn't demand it that way and code/printer/screen spacing chart
  • by hobbestcat (473268) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @11:16AM (#8713997) Homepage
    Lawson's ERP runs on Cobol... on top of Oracle DB... with a JavaScript UI engine. Really! I'm not kidding. We are deploying it right now and (as an IT Architect) I must say that I was stunned by their architecture.
  • ...he is just awaiting 'scriptization'...
  • Been there... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by pamar (538061) <marino@inr[ ].it ['ete' in gap]> on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @01:55PM (#8716106) Homepage
    ... done that, etc.

    I've worked from 1988 to 1997, more or less, in large projects using varuious mixture of COBOL, C and so called 4GLs (Oracle).

    Main "advantage" of COBOL should be that if you restrict usage to a given subset of the language you may have mediocre coders *and* a relatively low defect count.

    Not much else to recommend it for, though.

    The idea of using it for HTML generation is pretty ridicolous, because, at least in my experience, using COBOL doesn't really help you keeping a flexible mind about different "paradigms" and having to suddenly reason in terms of page requests, caching, static vs. dynamic etc. would probably be a little overwhelming for the skillset of the "existing workforce who already knows the language".
  • assembler-script
  • even Eclipse IDE (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Felipe Hoffa (141801) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @07:15PM (#8720061) Journal
    I don't get it, but one of the official Eclipse projects is a COBOL IDE, including its debugger.

    http://www.eclipse.org/cobol/ [eclipse.org]

    If you want it, go fetch it, its open source.

    Fh
  • It just smells that way!

You are in a maze of UUCP connections, all alike.

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