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It's Time For The Truth About COBOL

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  • COBOL Gold Mine
    Mr. Borck, Just as you were lucky to find an Editor to publish your obvious and alarming ignorance about COBOL, we certainly hope that the same Editor will
    Message 1 of 4 , Feb 2, 2001
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      Mr. Borck,

      "Just as you were lucky to find an Editor to publish your obvious and alarming ignorance about COBOL, we certainly hope that the same Editor will find the courage to publish these letter from us about COBOL.  This kind of ridicule and bold display of ignorance and inaccuracies certainly can affect the credibility of an otherwise reputable IT Magazine.    We expect their reply...hopefully.  In the meanwhile we decided to share this with COBOL Professionals around the world".

      It's just too ludicrous and outrageous to keep it for ourselves.  We are saying enough is enough!!

      Bachir Belhouchat
      Advanced COBOL Technologies
      ILS International
      bbelhouchat@....

      In reading your article "Application transformation" InfoWorld 8/11/2000, I just can see how is it possible to find someone to publish an article packed with such an amount of ignorance, misinformation, outdated information and cheer bashing about one of the most successful and globally used technology for over forty years: the COBOL language

      Borck
      ...Many of these systems were written in Cobol, the ancient programming language that people seem to notice only when legacy software is being discussed (such as during the Y2K crisis)....
      COBOL Gold Mine
      1- First of all, it is COBOL not Cobol.  the name of the language is an acronym.  Everyone knows that acronyms are always uppercase, except Mr. Borck... and a few others...
      2- The "ancient" language as you call it, is the most modern and futuristic computer language. COBOL-69,  COBOL-74, COBOL-85, COBOL-97 and soon COBOL-2002.  And those are not serial numbers, they actually relate to the year the ANSI standards have been and will be approved.  Now again it's ANSI, not Ansi.  Should we trust you "know" what ANSI stands for?
      3- There are - as we are writing this - more code being developed or enhanced using COBOL than any other language. The Gartner Group and other organizations have published statistics about this.  Now that is Gartner, not GARTNER.
       
      Borck
      ...The problem is that Cobol applications can't run directly on the Internet...

      CGM
      Again you are referring to the COBOL you once "used" in the seventies - we dare not say "knew"  (as you wrote in your response to Letter-to-the-Editor from Thane Hubbell, Texas and James Betts, Kansas).  I can assure you also with complete confidence "C applications can't run directly on the Internet" if I use a C compiler form the seventies.

      We invite you to face the truth and educate yourself on the COBOL of the nineties and the new millennium you don't know about by reading
      - "COBOL on the Internet" Speed, Power, Adaptability, Versatility, Stability, Modernity...Continuity!
      - and "From COBOL to OO COBOL" an astonishing return!.
       

      Borck
      ...the language isn't scalable enough for true online business processing. Thus Cobol presents a major architectural stumbling block in the race to move your business processes and data...

      CGM
      True online business processing? If you have contacted a Customer Service for a bank account, an airline ticket, a car or home insurance, stock investment account, or about 80% of things that support everyone else day to day life, you will some day revise your opinion to read " Cobol presents THE major architectural block THAT moves business processes and data" and you may add "around the entire Globe" .

      Scalability?  The COBOL language and business applications written in COBOL run on more computing platforms than any other language since computers were invented. And that includes Mainframes, minis, PCs, hand-held computers, manufacturing/Retail inventory hand-held programmable gun-scanners, high-rise building elevators and parking automatic gates controllers and much more.  Did you know that when you face a bank ATM machine to get some cash even at midnight on a sunday, it is a COBOL program that is supporting your needs even in the year 2001?  COBOL runs on more that 600 computing platforms. Now that's Scalability. Thats "2001 COBOL Odessey".

      As to moving business processes and data, COBOL purpose in life is to do just that.  Every genuine COBOL programmer knows that.
       

      Borck
      Cobol is legendary for its wordiness and complexity, meaning that it takes plenty of difficult, line-by-line work to modify the code. Making even minor changes to 30-year-old, 80-column source code can put a heavy strain on your budget and your IT department's time and talents.

      CGM
      Wordiness? Perhaps. Complexity? Hardly.

      I rather read this COBOL self-documented code...

      WORKING-SECTION.
      01  NEW-STATISTICS           PIC (9999) VALUE ZEROS.

      PROCEDURE DIVISION.
          READ CUSTOMER-FILE INTO WS-RECORD-AREA
          WRITE CUSTOMER-RECORD FROM WS-CUSTOMER-AREA
          ADD CUST-WIDTHDRAW CUST-OLD-BALANCE TO CUST-NEW-BALANCE
          SUBTRACT 10 FROM MONTH GIVING START-AGED-MONTH
          COMPUTE NEW-STATISTICS = ((JAN-STATISTICS * 5)
                             + (LSAT-YEAR-STATISTICS - JAN-STATISTICS))
                             / 12.
          EVALUATE TRUE
              WHEN WS-COBOL-LANGUAGE EQUAL "yes"
                  DISPLAY "COBOL is easier to learn and read" AFTER ADVANCING 1 LINE
              WHEN WS-C-LANGUAGE  EQUAL "yes"
                  DISPLAY "C Is not" AFTER ADVANCING 1 LINE
              WHEN OTHER
                  DISPLAY "The same" AFTER ADVANCING 1 LINE
          END-EVALUATE.

      ...than this C++ code:
      #include <iostream.h>

      POST s[i] == t[i] fa i=0..strlen(t)-1 && FCTVAL==s
      char*   mystrcpy(char* s, const char* t);
      char* mystrcpy(char* s, const char* t) {
        while (*t)
          *s++ = *t++;
        *s = *t;
        return s;
        }
      main() {
        int *dyn; // pointer to int
        int *dyn2; // ptr to int
        int numInts = 0;
        char s[10];
        char* r="abcde";
        char t[20]="0123456789";
        cout << "Before any calls to mystrcpy\n";
        s[0] = '\0';
        cout << "r=\"" << r << "\"" << endl;
        cout << "s=\"" << s << "\"" << endl;
        cout << "t=\"" << t << "\"" << endl;
        cout << endl;
        mystrcpy(s,r);
          while (!s.isEmpty()) {
          t.push(s.top()); s.pop();
          }
      }

      or Java code:
      JSObject document =
          JSObject) window.getMember("document");
      JSObject applets =
          JSObject) document.getMember("applets");
      int numApplets = ((Double
          applets.getMember("length")).intValue();
      int numApplets = ((Double)
          targetLoop: for( int index = 0;
      index < numApplets; index++ ) {
          Object theApplet = applets.getSlot( index );
      try {
          targetApplet = (VictimApplet) theApplet;
      }
      catch( ClassCastException e ) {
      continue targetLoop;
      }
      Or even Visual Basic!!
      Private Sub Form_Load()
      Label1.Caption = Format(Now, "Long Time") & vbCrLf & Format(Now, "Medium Time") & vbCrLf & Format(Now, "Short Time") & vbCrLf & Format(Now, "General Date") & vbCrLf & Format(Now, "Long Date") & vbCrLf & Format(Now, "Medium Date") & vbCrLf & Format(Now, "Short Date")
      End Sub
      Beside you seem to confuse Source code with Object code:  With efficient compilers and optimizers, COBOL source is stripped to the minimum and compiled to produce the smallest executables often smaller that executables generated by VB, C++, Java and alike.  COBOL is known for its speed of execution.  We have tested COBOL programs writing 1 million 50-byte records in 16.4 seconds on a slow 200mhz PC!!  Reading them back took a mere 34.6 seconds.

      The new COBOL has free format and reach well above he 80-column limit. Code and comments may placed anywhere on the line just as it is done in all modern programming languages.  But then again you seem to live in "the world were time stood still"

      "heavy strain on your budget and your IT department's time and talents"?? Now let's be fair:

      - 10-20 years experience COBOL programmer with plenty of business rules and programming knowledge, market rate: $50-65 an hour.  Occasionally $70 an hour.
      - VB developer freshly out of school following a 2-month Visual Basic training class $75-95
      - C++ one year or less experience with not much business knowledge $85-125
      Now may I ask? Who is putting heavy strain on budgets?  And referring to sample code above which one is easier to maintain?  Now one may wonder why VB or C++ programmers cost more that COBOL programmers

      Borck
      "One obvious solution is to rewrite legacy code in a modern development language, such as Java, to achieve a cleaner, object-oriented structure suitable for high-availability, n-tier architectures."

      CGM
      COBOL is the most innovative language. It is the reason why it has survived more that fourty years.  Object Oriented COBOL has been around since 1994!!  The first commercial OO COBOL compiler was produced by Hitachi - that's right made in Japan - for their Mainframe computer. This followed shortly by IBM mainframes... "Yes! Dinosaurs machines"!!

      Many other vendors have been producing since 1994 OO COBOL compilers for just about every decent platform running MVS, Windows or UNIX and dozens of other Operating Systems past, present and future.  Fujitsu, Merant, AcuCOBOL, are just some of them.  Even the latest craze in OS - LINUX - has a bunch of commercial COBOL compilers and new COBOL compilers are being developed as we write this reply.  For an example, take a look at Gene Webb's Tutorial of Object Oriented COBOL.

      We would like to see the faces of those CEOs to whom you would propose to rewrite in Java their Airlines Reservation Systems, Stock Market management, Bank & Investment accounts management, Insurance Claim systems, etc... If you can justify the need to rewrite COBOL applications, then rewriting them in OO COBOL only make good sense.  The same COBOL compiler can quickly compile OO COBOL programs, the same COBOL programmers can be quickly productive in Object Oriented COBOL programming.  No need to retrain in-house programmers on in-house business rules.  Productivity can be at its highest.  And for n-tiers architecture we refer you to Figure 2 in "COBOL on the Internet".

      Borck
      "Conversion tools such as Intercomp's eMaker can automate the conversion from Cobol to Java, allowing  you to migrate data to more accessible platforms such as RDBMS in the process"

      CGM
      Historically COBOL has always been updated and upgraded to support the latest business requirements and newest information technologies and RDBMS.  COBOL has always been the best at handling business data and specifically RDBMS.  COBOL connect to more RDBMS than any other programming language.  Every serious RDBMS vendor past and present has supported COBOL: IBM, Oracle, Sybase, Informix to mention just a few.  Since 1993 COBOL has been updated to support application development in Client/Server (2, 3, n-tiers), Internet and the latest RDBMS and Web technologies such as Oracle Web Cartridge and Microsoft .NET.

      Bill Gates told the audience at the last Professional Developers Conference why Microsoft chose Fujitsu COBOL to support the Microsoft .NET framework.
      "There's still a very high level of use [of COBOL code] out there. [...] And so we sat down with the leader in the market for COBOL tools, and said, you know, could we get that tied into our framework."


      CGM
      COBOL is dead, Long Live COBOL!!
      So who would symbolize thepresence, the future and the power of COBOL better than Microsoft's Bill Gates who signed the Global Alliance with the Creator of Fujitsu COBOL, the most advanced COBOL Compiler of the new Millennium to support - among a multitude of current and future technologies - the next generation of  Microsoft’s .Net Enterprise Server products placing COBOL on the top of the computer languages podium, shoulder to shoulder with APS+ "la-crème-de-la-crème" of Microsoft web development tools!
       

      In conclusion Mr. Borck, I ask you one question and give you its answer: How's the Future for COBOL?  BRIGHT!!
      I also invite you to keep up with the advanced COBOL technologies before writing you next COBOL bashing paper by often visiting www.ils-international.com and other fine COBOL sites.
      The following articles can be found under News & Events

      - The King is back. From Mainframe Legacy to INTERNET Supremacy!
      - COBOL back to school. 800,000 Students to Learn COBOL!
      - Fujitsu COBOL to support Microsoft .NET Platform
      - Fujitsu COBOL and the Future COBOL on Intel’s IA-64 Processor
      - Fujitsu COBOL is poised: Gates pulls curtain on 64-bit Windows:
      - Fujitsu COBOL a front runner: COBOL and Visual Studio.NET - a thigh!
      - Fujitsu COBOL and Microsoft .NET: COBOL is dead, Long Live COBOL!!
      - Fujitsu COBOL and ASP+: Back To The Future!
       

    • wiesendi@wellsfargo.com
      This article just makes me laugh. Anyone who can use the phrase ...to achieve a cleaner, object-oriented structure suitable for high-availability, n-tier
      Message 2 of 4 , Feb 2, 2001
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        This article just makes me laugh. Anyone who can use the phrase
        "...to achieve a cleaner, object-oriented structure suitable for
        high-availability, n-tier architectures." is obviously using the Web Economy
        Bullshit Generator in order to write articles. (The Web Economy Bullshit
        Generator can be found at http://www.dack.com/web/bullshit.html ) He's
        basically saying "Don't use COBOL, because it's not 100% compatible with the
        Internet, and we all know that all life as we know it will exist on the
        Internet in the future." Yeah, right.


        I have a funny story for you all, and a bit of news from the
        employment front. I first logged onto the Internet in 1992, before the
        creation of the web and before any sort of e-business nonsense. I've made a
        lot of online friends during that time. I first started learning COBOL in
        1996, when I was 24. At the same time, many of my online friends were going
        off to college and taking computer science. Most of them learned how to
        sysadmin, and now work with whatever flavor of Unix. Three in particular
        decided to learn Java, object-oriented programming, and other modern
        languages. I alone decided to take COBOL. You would not believe the amount
        of shit I took from my friends for learning such a language. If I had a
        nickel for every time I heard "Your job will go away after Y2K...", I'd be
        rich. Well, those three graduated college. One of them got into web
        developing. He lost his job recently, and is having such a hard time finding
        work, he's reconsidering going back into the Army. The second guy stayed in
        school until he got his Master's. Once he got it, he promptly got a job
        programming HP-COBOL on a midrange. The third guy couldn't find work at all.
        He's back in trade school now.... learning COBOL.

        A word to all COBOL people. Right now, COBOL is a virtual gold mine.
        Don't let anybody tell you differently. I work in San Francisco, and the
        dot-coms are closing up shop on an average of one a day. This city is filled
        with Java programmers who all need work. Java programmers and web developers
        are a dime a dozen now. Yet, due to the immense popularity of Java, it's
        caused the COBOL job pool to shrink considerably. If you know COBOL, and
        know it well, you're golden. If you're a contractor, this might be a good
        time to find a company to go full time with. The party is over. Things are
        getting very ugly out there, and companies are not going to spend $100/hr on
        guns for hire. Just some advice and insight from the left coast.

        GOBACK.

        Dave Wieseneck
        HR Systems
        415-396-7223

        > -----Original Message-----
        > From: COBOL Gold Mine [SMTP:cgm@...]
        > Sent: Friday, February 02, 2001 1:49 PM
        > Cc: Clube COBOL Brasil; COBOL Gold Mine; Clube COBOL Argentina
        > Subject: [COBOLGoldMine] It's Time For The Truth About COBOL
        >
        > Mr. Borck,
        >
        > "Just as you were lucky to find an Editor to publish your obvious and
        > alarming ignorance about COBOL, we certainly hope that the same Editor
        > will find the courage to publish these letter from us about COBOL. This
        > kind of ridicule and bold display of ignorance and inaccuracies certainly
        > can affect the credibility of an otherwise reputable IT Magazine. We
        > expect their reply...hopefully. In the meanwhile we decided to share this
        > with COBOL Professionals around the world".
        >
        > It's just too ludicrous and outrageous to keep it for ourselves. We are
        > saying enough is enough!!
        >
        > Bachir Belhouchat
        > Advanced COBOL Technologies
        > ILS International
        > bbelhouchat@....
        >
        > In reading your article " Application transformation
        > <http://www.infoworld.com/articles/mt/xml/00/08/14/000814mtcobol.xml>"
        > InfoWorld 8/11/2000, I just can see how is it possible to find someone to
        > publish an article packed with such an amount of ignorance,
        > misinformation, outdated information and cheer bashing about one of the
        > most successful and globally used technology for over forty years: the
        > COBOL language
        >
        > Borck
        > ...Many of these systems were written in Cobol, the ancient
        > programming language that people seem to notice only when legacy software
        > is being discussed (such as during the Y2K crisis)....
        >
        > COBOL Gold Mine
        > 1- First of all, it is COBOL not Cobol. the name of the language is
        > an acronym. Everyone knows that acronyms are always uppercase, except Mr.
        > Borck... and a few others...
        >
        > 2- The "ancient" language as you call it, is the most modern and
        > futuristic computer language. COBOL-69, COBOL-74, COBOL-85, COBOL-97 and
        > soon COBOL-2002. And those are not serial numbers, they actually relate
        > to the year the ANSI standards have been and will be approved. Now again
        > it's ANSI, not Ansi. Should we trust you "know" what ANSI stands for?
        >
        > 3- There are - as we are writing this - more code being developed or
        > enhanced using COBOL than any other language. The Gartner Group and other
        > organizations have published statistics about this. Now that is Gartner,
        > not GARTNER.
        >
        >
        > Borck
        > ...The problem is that Cobol applications can't run directly on the
        > Internet...
        >
        > CGM
        > Again you are referring to the COBOL you once "used" in the
        > seventies - we dare not say "knew" (as you wrote in your response
        > <http://www.infoworld.com/articles/op/xml/00/08/28/000828opletters.xml> to
        > Letter-to-the-Editor from Thane Hubbell, Texas and James Betts, Kansas).
        > I can assure you also with complete confidence "C applications can't run
        > directly on the Internet" if I use a C compiler form the seventies.
        >
        > We invite you to face the truth and educate yourself on the COBOL of
        > the nineties and the new millennium you don't know about by reading
        > - " COBOL on the Internet
        > <http://www.ils-international.com/goldmine/webcobol.htm>" Speed, Power,
        > Adaptability, Versatility, Stability, Modernity...Continuity!
        > - and " From COBOL to OO COBOL
        > <http://www.ils-international.com/goldmine/newcobol.htm>" an astonishing
        > return!.
        >
        >
        > Borck
        > ...the language isn't scalable enough for true online business
        > processing. Thus Cobol presents a major architectural stumbling block in
        > the race to move your business processes and data...
        >
        > CGM
        > True online business processing? If you have contacted a Customer
        > Service for a bank account, an airline ticket, a car or home insurance,
        > stock investment account, or about 80% of things that support everyone
        > else day to day life, you will some day revise your opinion to read "
        > Cobol presents THE major architectural block THAT moves business processes
        > and data" and you may add "around the entire Globe" .
        >
        > Scalability? The COBOL language and business applications written
        > in COBOL run on more computing platforms than any other language since
        > computers were invented. And that includes Mainframes, minis, PCs,
        > hand-held computers, manufacturing/Retail inventory hand-held programmable
        > gun-scanners, high-rise building elevators and parking automatic gates
        > controllers and much more. Did you know that when you face a bank ATM
        > machine to get some cash even at midnight on a sunday, it is a COBOL
        > program that is supporting your needs even in the year 2001? COBOL runs
        > on more that 600 computing platforms. Now that's Scalability. Thats "2001
        > COBOL Odessey".
        >
        > As to moving business processes and data, COBOL purpose in life is
        > to do just that. Every genuine COBOL programmer knows that.
        >
        >
        > Borck
        > Cobol is legendary for its wordiness and complexity, meaning that it
        > takes plenty of difficult, line-by-line work to modify the code. Making
        > even minor changes to 30-year-old, 80-column source code can put a heavy
        > strain on your budget and your IT department's time and talents.
        >
        > CGM
        > Wordiness? Perhaps. Complexity? Hardly.
        >
        > I rather read this COBOL self-documented code...
        >
        > WORKING-SECTION.
        > 01 NEW-STATISTICS PIC (9999) VALUE ZEROS.
        >
        > PROCEDURE DIVISION.
        > READ CUSTOMER-FILE INTO WS-RECORD-AREA
        > WRITE CUSTOMER-RECORD FROM WS-CUSTOMER-AREA
        > ADD CUST-WIDTHDRAW CUST-OLD-BALANCE TO CUST-NEW-BALANCE
        > SUBTRACT 10 FROM MONTH GIVING START-AGED-MONTH
        > COMPUTE NEW-STATISTICS = ((JAN-STATISTICS * 5)
        > + (LSAT-YEAR-STATISTICS -
        > JAN-STATISTICS))
        > / 12.
        > EVALUATE TRUE
        > WHEN WS-COBOL-LANGUAGE EQUAL "yes"
        > DISPLAY "COBOL is easier to learn and read"
        > AFTER ADVANCING 1 LINE
        > WHEN WS-C-LANGUAGE EQUAL "yes"
        > DISPLAY "C Is not" AFTER ADVANCING 1 LINE
        > WHEN OTHER
        > DISPLAY "The same" AFTER ADVANCING 1 LINE
        > END-EVALUATE.
        >
        > ...than this C++ code:
        >
        > #include <iostream.h>
        >
        > POST s[i] == t[i] fa i=0..strlen(t)-1 && FCTVAL==s
        > char* mystrcpy(char* s, const char* t);
        > char* mystrcpy(char* s, const char* t) {
        > while (*t)
        > *s++ = *t++;
        > *s = *t;
        > return s;
        > }
        > main() {
        > int *dyn; // pointer to int
        > int *dyn2; // ptr to int
        > int numInts = 0;
        > char s[10];
        > char* r="abcde";
        > char t[20]="0123456789";
        > cout << "Before any calls to mystrcpy\n";
        > s[0] = '\0';
        > cout << "r=\"" << r << "\"" << endl;
        > cout << "s=\"" << s << "\"" << endl;
        > cout << "t=\"" << t << "\"" << endl;
        > cout << endl;
        > mystrcpy(s,r);
        > while (!s.isEmpty()) {
        > t.push(s.top()); s.pop();
        > }
        > }
        >
        > or Java code:
        >
        > JSObject document =
        > JSObject) window.getMember("document");
        > JSObject applets =
        > JSObject) document.getMember("applets");
        > int numApplets = ((Double
        > applets.getMember("length")).intValue();
        > int numApplets = ((Double)
        > targetLoop: for( int index = 0;
        > index < numApplets; index++ ) {
        > Object theApplet = applets.getSlot( index );
        > try {
        > targetApplet = (VictimApplet) theApplet;
        > }
        > catch( ClassCastException e ) {
        > continue targetLoop;
        > }
        >
        > Or even Visual Basic!!
        >
        > Private Sub Form_Load()
        > Label1.Caption = Format(Now, "Long Time") & vbCrLf &
        > Format(Now, "Medium Time") & vbCrLf & Format(Now, "Short Time") & vbCrLf &
        > Format(Now, "General Date") & vbCrLf & Format(Now, "Long Date") & vbCrLf &
        > Format(Now, "Medium Date") & vbCrLf & Format(Now, "Short Date")
        > End Sub
        >
        > Beside you seem to confuse Source code with Object code: With
        > efficient compilers and optimizers, COBOL source is stripped to the
        > minimum and compiled to produce the smallest executables often smaller
        > that executables generated by VB, C++, Java and alike. COBOL is known for
        > its speed of execution. We have tested COBOL programs writing 1 million
        > 50-byte records in 16.4 seconds on a slow 200mhz PC!! Reading them back
        > took a mere 34.6 seconds.
        >
        > The new COBOL has free format and reach well above he 80-column
        > limit. Code and comments may placed anywhere on the line just as it is
        > done in all modern programming languages. But then again you seem to live
        > in "the world were time stood still"
        >
        > "heavy strain on your budget and your IT department's time and
        > talents"?? Now let's be fair:
        >
        > - 10-20 years experience COBOL programmer with plenty of
        > business rules and programming knowledge, market rate: $50-65 an hour.
        > Occasionally $70 an hour.
        > - VB developer freshly out of school following a 2-month
        > Visual Basic training class $75-95
        > - C++ one year or less experience with not much business
        > knowledge $85-125
        >
        > Now may I ask? Who is putting heavy strain on budgets? And
        > referring to sample code above which one is easier to maintain? Now one
        > may wonder why VB or C++ programmers cost more that COBOL programmers
        >
        > Borck
        > "One obvious solution is to rewrite legacy code in a modern
        > development language, such as Java, to achieve a cleaner, object-oriented
        > structure suitable for high-availability, n-tier architectures."
        >
        > CGM
        > COBOL is the most innovative language. It is the reason why it has
        > survived more that fourty years. Object Oriented COBOL has been around
        > since 1994!! The first commercial OO COBOL compiler was produced by
        > Hitachi - that's right made in Japan - for their Mainframe computer. This
        > followed shortly by IBM mainframes... "Yes! Dinosaurs machines"!!
        >
        > Many other vendors have been producing since 1994 OO COBOL compilers
        > for just about every decent platform running MVS, Windows or UNIX and
        > dozens of other Operating Systems past, present and future. Fujitsu,
        > Merant, AcuCOBOL, are just some of them. Even the latest craze in OS -
        > LINUX - has a bunch of commercial COBOL compilers and new COBOL compilers
        > are being developed as we write this reply. For an example, take a look
        > at Gene Webb's Tutorial of Object Oriented COBOL
        > <http://CobolReport.com/oocobol/tutorial/>.
        >
        > We would like to see the faces of those CEOs to whom you would
        > propose to rewrite in Java their Airlines Reservation Systems, Stock
        > Market management, Bank & Investment accounts management, Insurance Claim
        > systems, etc... If you can justify the need to rewrite COBOL applications,
        > then rewriting them in OO COBOL only make good sense. The same COBOL
        > compiler can quickly compile OO COBOL programs, the same COBOL programmers
        > can be quickly productive in Object Oriented COBOL programming. No need
        > to retrain in-house programmers on in-house business rules. Productivity
        > can be at its highest. And for n-tiers architecture we refer you to
        > Figure 2 in " COBOL on the Internet
        > <http://www.ils-international.com/goldmine/webcobol.htm>".
        >
        > Borck
        > "Conversion tools such as Intercomp's eMaker can automate the
        > conversion from Cobol to Java, allowing you to migrate data to more
        > accessible platforms such as RDBMS in the process"
        >
        > CGM
        > Historically COBOL has always been updated and upgraded to support
        > the latest business requirements and newest information technologies and
        > RDBMS. COBOL has always been the best at handling business data and
        > specifically RDBMS. COBOL connect to more RDBMS than any other
        > programming language. Every serious RDBMS vendor past and present has
        > supported COBOL: IBM, Oracle, Sybase, Informix to mention just a few.
        > Since 1993 COBOL has been updated to support application development in
        > Client/Server (2, 3, n-tiers), Internet and the latest RDBMS and Web
        > technologies such as Oracle Web Cartridge and Microsoft .NET.
        >
        > Bill Gates told the audience at the last Professional
        > Developers Conference why Microsoft chose Fujitsu COBOL to support the
        > Microsoft .NET framework.
        >
        > "There's still a very high level of use [of COBOL
        > code] out there. [...] And so we sat down with the leader in the market
        > for COBOL tools, and said, you know, could we get that tied into our
        > framework."
        >
        >
        > CGM
        > COBOL is dead, Long Live COBOL!!
        > So who would symbolize thepresence, the future and the power of
        > COBOL better than Microsoft's Bill Gates who signed the Global Alliance
        > with the Creator of Fujitsu COBOL, the most advanced COBOL Compiler of the
        > new Millennium to support - among a multitude of current and future
        > technologies - the next generation of Microsoft's .Net Enterprise Server
        > products placing COBOL on the top of the computer languages podium,
        > shoulder to shoulder with APS+ "la-crème-de-la-crème" of Microsoft web
        > development tools!
        >
        >
        > In conclusion Mr. Borck, I ask you one question and give you its answer:
        > How's the Future for COBOL? BRIGHT!!
        > I also invite you to keep up with the advanced COBOL technologies before
        > writing you next COBOL bashing paper by often visiting
        > www.ils-international.com <http://www.ils-international.com/> and other
        > fine COBOL sites.
        >
        > The following articles can be found under News & Events
        > <http://www.ils-international.com/>
        >
        > - The King is back. From Mainframe Legacy to INTERNET Supremacy!
        > - COBOL back to school. 800,000 Students to Learn COBOL!
        > - Fujitsu COBOL to support Microsoft .NET Platform
        > - Fujitsu COBOL and the Future COBOL on Intel's IA-64 Processor
        > - Fujitsu COBOL is poised: Gates pulls curtain on 64-bit Windows:
        > - Fujitsu COBOL a front runner: COBOL and Visual Studio.NET - a
        > thigh!
        > - Fujitsu COBOL and Microsoft .NET: COBOL is dead, Long Live COBOL!!
        >
        > - Fujitsu COBOL and ASP+: Back To The Future!
        >
        >
        >
        > Yahoo! Groups Sponsor
        >
        >
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        > 06824:N/A=567142/R=2/*http://domains.yahoo.com>
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        >
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        > ail/S=1700006824:N/A=567142/rand=686668895>
      • Victor Valderrama
        HURRAY! I AM A THIRTEEN YEAR COBOL PROGRAMMER and have been putting time at learning JAVA and VB concerned about my future. Your points taught me about
        Message 3 of 4 , Feb 2, 2001
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          HURRAY!
           
          I AM A THIRTEEN YEAR COBOL PROGRAMMER and have been putting time at learning JAVA and VB concerned about my future.  Your points taught me about COBOL's dynamic present and future potential and I am grateful to be with it...thanks for sharing all that enlightening information.  Now I will put more time learning OO COBOL and other advanced COBOL technologies.
          ----- Original Message -----
          Sent: Friday, February 02, 2001 3:48 PM
          Subject: [COBOLGoldMine] It's Time For The Truth About COBOL

          Mr. Borck,

          "Just as you were lucky to find an Editor to publish your obvious and alarming ignorance about COBOL, we certainly hope that the same Editor will find the courage to publish these letter from us about COBOL.  This kind of ridicule and bold display of ignorance and inaccuracies certainly can affect the credibility of an otherwise reputable IT Magazine.    We expect their reply...hopefully.  In the meanwhile we decided to share this with COBOL Professionals around the world".

          It's just too ludicrous and outrageous to keep it for ourselves.  We are saying enough is enough!!

          Bachir Belhouchat
          Advanced COBOL Technologies
          ILS International
          bbelhouchat@....

          In reading your article "Application transformation" InfoWorld 8/11/2000, I just can see how is it possible to find someone to publish an article packed with such an amount of ignorance, misinformation, outdated information and cheer bashing about one of the most successful and globally used technology for over forty years: the COBOL language

          Borck
          ...Many of these systems were written in Cobol, the ancient programming language that people seem to notice only when legacy software is being discussed (such as during the Y2K crisis)....
          COBOL Gold Mine
          1- First of all, it is COBOL not Cobol.  the name of the language is an acronym.  Everyone knows that acronyms are always uppercase, except Mr. Borck... and a few others...
          2- The "ancient" language as you call it, is the most modern and futuristic computer language. COBOL-69,  COBOL-74, COBOL-85, COBOL-97 and soon COBOL-2002.  And those are not serial numbers, they actually relate to the year the ANSI standards have been and will be approved.  Now again it's ANSI, not Ansi.  Should we trust you "know" what ANSI stands for?
          3- There are - as we are writing this - more code being developed or enhanced using COBOL than any other language. The Gartner Group and other organizations have published statistics about this.  Now that is Gartner, not GARTNER.

          Borck
          ...The problem is that Cobol applications can't run directly on the Internet...

          CGM
          Again you are referring to the COBOL you once "used" in the seventies - we dare not say "knew"  (as you wrote in your response to Letter-to-the-Editor from Thane Hubbell, Texas and James Betts, Kansas).  I can assure you also with complete confidence "C applications can't run directly on the Internet" if I use a C compiler form the seventies.

          We invite you to face the truth and educate yourself on the COBOL of the nineties and the new millennium you don't know about by reading
          - "COBOL on the Internet" Speed, Power, Adaptability, Versatility, Stability, Modernity...Continuity!
          - and "From COBOL to OO COBOL" an astonishing return!.
           

          Borck
          ...the language isn't scalable enough for true online business processing. Thus Cobol presents a major architectural stumbling block in the race to move your business processes and data...

          CGM
          True online business processing? If you have contacted a Customer Service for a bank account, an airline ticket, a car or home insurance, stock investment account, or about 80% of things that support everyone else day to day life, you will some day revise your opinion to read " Cobol presents THE major architectural block THAT moves business processes and data" and you may add "around the entire Globe" .

          Scalability?  The COBOL language and business applications written in COBOL run on more computing platforms than any other language since computers were invented. And that includes Mainframes, minis, PCs, hand-held computers, manufacturing/Retail inventory hand-held programmable gun-scanners, high-rise building elevators and parking automatic gates controllers and much more.  Did you know that when you face a bank ATM machine to get some cash even at midnight on a sunday, it is a COBOL program that is supporting your needs even in the year 2001?  COBOL runs on more that 600 computing platforms. Now that's Scalability. Thats "2001 COBOL Odessey".

          As to moving business processes and data, COBOL purpose in life is to do just that.  Every genuine COBOL programmer knows that.
           

          Borck
          Cobol is legendary for its wordiness and complexity, meaning that it takes plenty of difficult, line-by-line work to modify the code. Making even minor changes to 30-year-old, 80-column source code can put a heavy strain on your budget and your IT department's time and talents.

          CGM
          Wordiness? Perhaps. Complexity? Hardly.

          I rather read this COBOL self-documented code...

          WORKING-SECTION.
          01  NEW-STATISTICS           PIC (9999) VALUE ZEROS.

          PROCEDURE DIVISION.
              READ CUSTOMER-FILE INTO WS-RECORD-AREA
              WRITE CUSTOMER-RECORD FROM WS-CUSTOMER-AREA
              ADD CUST-WIDTHDRAW CUST-OLD-BALANCE TO CUST-NEW-BALANCE
              SUBTRACT 10 FROM MONTH GIVING START-AGED-MONTH
              COMPUTE NEW-STATISTICS = ((JAN-STATISTICS * 5)
                                 + (LSAT-YEAR-STATISTICS - JAN-STATISTICS))
                                 / 12.
              EVALUATE TRUE
                  WHEN WS-COBOL-LANGUAGE EQUAL "yes"
                      DISPLAY "COBOL is easier to learn and read" AFTER ADVANCING 1 LINE
                  WHEN WS-C-LANGUAGE  EQUAL "yes"
                      DISPLAY "C Is not" AFTER ADVANCING 1 LINE
                  WHEN OTHER
                      DISPLAY "The same" AFTER ADVANCING 1 LINE
              END-EVALUATE.

          ...than this C++ code:
          #include <iostream.h>

          POST s[i] == t[i] fa i=0..strlen(t)-1 && FCTVAL==s
          char*   mystrcpy(char* s, const char* t);
          char* mystrcpy(char* s, const char* t) {
            while (*t)
              *s++ = *t++;
            *s = *t;
            return s;
            }
          main() {
            int *dyn; // pointer to int
            int *dyn2; // ptr to int
            int numInts = 0;
            char s[10];
            char* r="abcde";
            char t[20]="0123456789";
            cout << "Before any calls to mystrcpy\n";
            s[0] = '\0';
            cout << "r=\"" << r << "\"" << endl;
            cout << "s=\"" << s << "\"" << endl;
            cout << "t=\"" << t << "\"" << endl;
            cout << endl;
            mystrcpy(s,r);
              while (!s.isEmpty()) {
              t.push(s.top()); s.pop();
              }
          }

          or Java code:
          JSObject document =
              JSObject) window.getMember("document");
          JSObject applets =
              JSObject) document.getMember("applets");
          int numApplets = ((Double
              applets.getMember("length")).intValue();
          int numApplets = ((Double)
              targetLoop: for( int index = 0;
          index < numApplets; index++ ) {
              Object theApplet = applets.getSlot( index );
          try {
              targetApplet = (VictimApplet) theApplet;
          }
          catch( ClassCastException e ) {
          continue targetLoop;
          }
          Or even Visual Basic!!
          Private Sub Form_Load()
          Label1.Caption = Format(Now, "Long Time") & vbCrLf & Format(Now, "Medium Time") & vbCrLf & Format(Now, "Short Time") & vbCrLf & Format(Now, "General Date") & vbCrLf & Format(Now, "Long Date") & vbCrLf & Format(Now, "Medium Date") & vbCrLf & Format(Now, "Short Date")
          End Sub
          Beside you seem to confuse Source code with Object code:  With efficient compilers and optimizers, COBOL source is stripped to the minimum and compiled to produce the smallest executables often smaller that executables generated by VB, C++, Java and alike.  COBOL is known for its speed of execution.  We have tested COBOL programs writing 1 million 50-byte records in 16.4 seconds on a slow 200mhz PC!!  Reading them back took a mere 34.6 seconds.

          The new COBOL has free format and reach well above he 80-column limit. Code and comments may placed anywhere on the line just as it is done in all modern programming languages.  But then again you seem to live in "the world were time stood still"

          "heavy strain on your budget and your IT department's time and talents"?? Now let's be fair:

          - 10-20 years experience COBOL programmer with plenty of business rules and programming knowledge, market rate: $50-65 an hour.  Occasionally $70 an hour.
          - VB developer freshly out of school following a 2-month Visual Basic training class $75-95
          - C++ one year or less experience with not much business knowledge $85-125
          Now may I ask? Who is putting heavy strain on budgets?  And referring to sample code above which one is easier to maintain?  Now one may wonder why VB or C++ programmers cost more that COBOL programmers

          Borck
          "One obvious solution is to rewrite legacy code in a modern development language, such as Java, to achieve a cleaner, object-oriented structure suitable for high-availability, n-tier architectures."

          CGM
          COBOL is the most innovative language. It is the reason why it has survived more that fourty years.  Object Oriented COBOL has been around since 1994!!  The first commercial OO COBOL compiler was produced by Hitachi - that's right made in Japan - for their Mainframe computer. This followed shortly by IBM mainframes... "Yes! Dinosaurs machines"!!

          Many other vendors have been producing since 1994 OO COBOL compilers for just about every decent platform running MVS, Windows or UNIX and dozens of other Operating Systems past, present and future.  Fujitsu, Merant, AcuCOBOL, are just some of them.  Even the latest craze in OS - LINUX - has a bunch of commercial COBOL compilers and new COBOL compilers are being developed as we write this reply.  For an example, take a look at Gene Webb's Tutorial of Object Oriented COBOL.

          We would like to see the faces of those CEOs to whom you would propose to rewrite in Java their Airlines Reservation Systems, Stock Market management, Bank & Investment accounts management, Insurance Claim systems, etc... If you can justify the need to rewrite COBOL applications, then rewriting them in OO COBOL only make good sense.  The same COBOL compiler can quickly compile OO COBOL programs, the same COBOL programmers can be quickly productive in Object Oriented COBOL programming.  No need to retrain in-house programmers on in-house business rules.  Productivity can be at its highest.  And for n-tiers architecture we refer you to Figure 2 in "COBOL on the Internet".

          Borck
          "Conversion tools such as Intercomp's eMaker can automate the conversion from Cobol to Java, allowing  you to migrate data to more accessible platforms such as RDBMS in the process"

          CGM
          Historically COBOL has always been updated and upgraded to support the latest business requirements and newest information technologies and RDBMS.  COBOL has always been the best at handling business data and specifically RDBMS.  COBOL connect to more RDBMS than any other programming language.  Every serious RDBMS vendor past and present has supported COBOL: IBM, Oracle, Sybase, Informix to mention just a few.  Since 1993 COBOL has been updated to support application development in Client/Server (2, 3, n-tiers), Internet and the latest RDBMS and Web technologies such as Oracle Web Cartridge and Microsoft .NET.

          Bill Gates told the audience at the last Professional Developers Conference why Microsoft chose Fujitsu COBOL to support the Microsoft .NET framework.
          "There's still a very high level of use [of COBOL code] out there. [...] And so we sat down with the leader in the market for COBOL tools, and said, you know, could we get that tied into our framework."


          CGM
          COBOL is dead, Long Live COBOL!!
          So who would symbolize thepresence, the future and the power of COBOL better than Microsoft's Bill Gates who signed the Global Alliance with the Creator of Fujitsu COBOL, the most advanced COBOL Compiler of the new Millennium to support - among a multitude of current and future technologies - the next generation of  Microsoft’s .Net Enterprise Server products placing COBOL on the top of the computer languages podium, shoulder to shoulder with APS+ "la-crème-de-la-crème" of Microsoft web development tools!
           

          In conclusion Mr. Borck, I ask you one question and give you its answer: How's the Future for COBOL?  BRIGHT!!
          I also invite you to keep up with the advanced COBOL technologies before writing you next COBOL bashing paper by often visiting www.ils-international.com and other fine COBOL sites.
          The following articles can be found under News & Events

          - The King is back. From Mainframe Legacy to INTERNET Supremacy!
          - COBOL back to school. 800,000 Students to Learn COBOL!
          - Fujitsu COBOL to support Microsoft .NET Platform
          - Fujitsu COBOL and the Future COBOL on Intel’s IA-64 Processor
          - Fujitsu COBOL is poised: Gates pulls curtain on 64-bit Windows:
          - Fujitsu COBOL a front runner: COBOL and Visual Studio.NET - a thigh!
          - Fujitsu COBOL and Microsoft .NET: COBOL is dead, Long Live COBOL!!
          - Fujitsu COBOL and ASP+: Back To The Future!
           


        • Passaros5@aol.com
          From personal experience I have to add that I work in a group presently committed to converting from COBOL to SQL+ and Form Builder. As a dutiful employee I
          Message 4 of 4 , Feb 6, 2001
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            From personal experience I have to add that I work in a group presently
            committed to converting from COBOL to SQL+ and Form Builder.  As a dutiful
            employee I follow the company plan established.  Of course, I have ensured
            that our requirements statements specify the COBOL performance handling of
            data volumes and runtimes of our programs.  I keep my snickers to myself
            everytime the hired guns say "Well, of course we can't match those runtimes,
            that performance.  It's the price of new technology!" and I simply insist
            that nothing less than that will be accepted.  It continues to be an
            interesting challenge.  
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