Talk:COBOL

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Current total for lines of COBOL programs[edit]

The article (based on 1981 data?) claims that little new code is being written in Cobol. A more current estimate is at 5 billion codelines a year, so perhaps it depends on the definition of "little"... (See for instance http://www.cobolwebler.com/cobolfacts.htm, citing Gartner Group as a source.) — Preceding unsigned comment added by 80.111.138.138 (talk) 20:05, 9 February 2004‎

Strange use of second generation language[edit]

Where does come your use of second generation language: it is usually reserved for assembly languages. -- Hgfernan 12 May 2004

I agree. COBOL is a third generation language. other examples of third generation languages would be FORTRAN and BASIC. If someone else doesn't correct it soon I may do so. It is a clear mistake. enhandle nov 2004 — Preceding unsigned comment added by Enhandle (talkcontribs) 02:48, 14 November 2004‎

CoBOL or COBOL?[edit]

This isn't a big deal to me, but did anyone else learn it as "CoBOL" (Common Business Oriented Language)? Any old-schoolers out there who learned on punch cards? Woo-hoo! Lightbreather (talk) 00:38, 26 July 2014 (UTC)

I only ever saw it written as COBOL, but often wondered how a lower case "o" became an upper case "O" in the acronym. HiLo48 (talk) 02:03, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
@Lightbreather: I think it's just because everything was all caps (sixbit) in the early days... FORTRAN was all-caps too. The good ol' days before that was CONSIDERED SHOUTING & UNCIVIL. Yup, I learned on punch cards, and before that... BASIC on punched tape – the same way Bill Gates learned it. Check out Timeline of DOS operating systems. Wbm1058 (talk) 02:38, 29 July 2014 (UTC)
Most programming languages (and operating systems) were originally spelled all-caps. A very incomplete list of examples: COBOL, FORTRAN, LISP, BASIC, BAL, RPG, ALGOL, PL/I, SNOBOL, CPL, BCPL, etc. The Pascal language appears to be the first one (ca. 1970) that changed the trend, so now we see names like Perl, Java, Haskell, Python, etc., as well as renamings of the old languages, e.g., LISP is now spelled as "Lisp". — Loadmaster (talk) 20:47, 15 January 2015 (UTC)

COBOL isn't influenced by C++[edit]

How in the world is COBOL influenced by C++ or any other language noted in the sidebar? The side box needs to be fixed, as it is simply erronous. 199.212.69.109 (talk) 17:23, 15 January 2015 (UTC)

From the Cobol '97 status report(provided as a reference in the article):

The draft 1997 proposal for Cobol incorporates the basic object-oriented programming capabilities found in C++ and Smalltalk (see Table 1): inheritance, which allows objects to inherit data and behaviors from other objects; polymorphism, which simplifies coding by letting programmers use a single interface to access objects of different classes; and encapsulation, which hides the implementation of data and methods from clients (user code), thereby protecting clients from the effects of implementation change.

Martijn Hoekstra (talk)

So it would be accurate to say that COBOL 2002 (the object-oriented version of COBOL), or more precisely, the enhancements made to COBOL 2002, was influenced by C++. — Loadmaster (talk) 20:38, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
I've added notes clarifying that C++ and Smalltalk only influenced COBOL 2002's OO features. EdwardH (talk) 19:41, 17 January 2015 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:COBOL/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Esquivalience (talk · contribs) 21:09, 3 February 2015 (UTC)


I am going to commence the review as soon as I can. Esquivalience t 21:09, 3 February 2015 (UTC)

First review[edit]

Looks good; but ref. 5 really needs to be replaced with a better source (ref. 4 is not too bad).

  • "In contrast with modern, succinct notation like y = x;, COBOL uses MOVE x TO y." - Should be something like: "COBOL uses more traditional notation [or "more English-like notation", whichever fits better] (in this case, MOVE x TO y)". And shouldn't it be "syntax" instead of "notation"?
  • "A 1959 survey had found that in any data processing installation, the programming costs at least $800,000 and that translating programs to run on new hardware would cost $600,000." - correct grammar in underlined text (suggestions above). Also, the source says the cost is on average, so I think it should mention that the cost is on average.
  • "In the early 1990s it was decided to add object-orientation in the next full revision of COBOL. - should be reworded.
Yes check.svg Done I've applied the changes you've suggested. Thanks for the comments! EdwardH (talk) 20:33, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
Looks good! I'll scour through sources to see if there's no OR, then, if there are no problems, promote. Esquivalience t 21:20, 9 February 2015 (UTC)

List for first review[edit]

GA review (see here for what the criteria are, and here for what they are not)
  1. It is reasonably well written.
    a (prose, no copyvios, spelling and grammar): b (MoS for lead, layout, word choice, fiction, and lists):
    See suggested improvements above.
  2. It is factually accurate and verifiable.
    a (reference section): b (citations to reliable sources): c (OR):
    Find a more reliable source than ref. 5. Also, checking more sources to see if there is original research, but looks good so far.
  3. It is broad in its coverage.
    a (major aspects): b (focused):
    The strong point of this article. Very comprehensive.
  4. It follows the neutral point of view policy.
    Fair representation without bias:
  5. It is stable.
    No edit wars, etc.:
  6. It is illustrated by images and other media, where possible and appropriate.
    a (images are tagged and non-free content have fair use rationales): b (appropriate use with suitable captions):
  7. Overall:
    Pass/Fail:

Final review[edit]

GA review (see here for what the criteria are, and here for what they are not)
  1. It is reasonably well written.
    a (prose, no copyvios, spelling and grammar): b (MoS for lead, layout, word choice, fiction, and lists):
  2. It is factually accurate and verifiable.
    a (reference section): b (citations to reliable sources): c (OR):
  3. It is broad in its coverage.
    a (major aspects): b (focused):
  4. It follows the neutral point of view policy.
    Fair representation without bias:
  5. It is stable.
    No edit wars, etc.:
  6. It is illustrated by images and other media, where possible and appropriate.
    a (images are tagged and non-free content have fair use rationales): b (appropriate use with suitable captions):
  7. Overall:
    Pass/Fail: