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RE: [open-cobol-list] Runtime library question

From: Gerry Weaver
Subject: RE: [open-cobol-list] Runtime library question
Date: Sun Feb 1 20:51:01 2004


Thanks for the reply. The files are binary files. I don't know a lot about
them at this point, but I can tell you what I know so far.

One of the files in question has a character string followed by two four
byte values and an end of record of 0x0a. The numbers are stored in a
strange way. You have to mask off the low nibble by shifting right four
bits. It appears at first glance that all of the numeric values are stored
in this fashion. For example, I have a file that looks like a report. In
order to format the report correctly each string is followed by one of these
four byte values. The values seem to indicate how many spaces to pad each
string with. None of these files have any extension except one that has an
extension of .idx. There appears to be an associated data file, but it too
has no extension. I assume these may be ISAM files.

I'm really trying to determine if there is a known pattern or scheme to
these files, or if they are simply a proprietary format.

Thanks again for the response,

-----Original Message-----
From: Keisuke Nishida [mailto:address@hidden
Sent: Sunday, February 01, 2004 9:00 PM
To: Gerry Weaver
Cc: address@hidden
Subject: Re: [open-cobol-list] Runtime library question

At Thu, 29 Jan 2004 23:27:11 -0600,
Gerry Weaver wrote:
> I am working on a project, which requires me to read files that were
> with Cobol. No one could tell me which Cobol, but I would imagine it was
> either Microfocus or IBM. The project language is C. I've been looking for
> way to read these files from the C language and came across "open-cobol"
> the web. I would like to know if I can simply link the runtime library and
> use the file functions to read these files. If so, I would appreciate any
> advice someone could give me. I don't know anything about the Cobol
> at all. I was trying to reverse engineer the files when someone who knew
> Cobol told me that they looked like Cobol files. I then searched the web
> found open-cobol.

I suppose you have files that is not human readable (i.e., containing
binary data).  If so, I guess the format of your files is not compatible
with that of open-cobol.  File formats are compiler dependent.

Would you tell us more about your files?  Are they binary or text files?
What file extension do they have?


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