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[open-cobol-list] Playing with OC and AJAX

From: Michael Anderson
Subject: [open-cobol-list] Playing with OC and AJAX
Date: Mon, 02 Jan 2012 21:44:38 -0600

A great working example written by Brian Tiffin, of COBOL processing an ajax request sent by a client Web browser, cool stuff!

if (name-string(name-index) = "REQUEST_METHOD")
                  and (value-string = "POST")
                      open input webinput
                      read webinput
                          at end move spaces to postchunk

Then the response is sent back to the client browser, from the server, using a COBOL DISPLAY. 

Now this gets me thinking about putting many old COBOL apps on the web, and a question comes to mind. 
Can a single COBOL process send and receive data to and from a web browser, just like it did with the old terminal?
The only difference would be instead of the old terminal instructions, it would now send/receive JSON ogjects.
The JSON objects would then be processed in the web browser using _javascript_, could be cool with HTML5 and CSS3.

My normal method is to play around with it, and eventually I get the answer from the process. 
Playing around with it, I modify this example to process multiple ajax requests within the same cgi process.
Sadly the next 'read webinput' does not wait for more data to be sent from the browser. 
I was hoping it would wait, after-all, webinput is actually stdin, and usually when reading from stdin the process will be blocked/locked until there is actual data to be read.

The fact is that Web server CGI I/O is non-blocked I/O. 
Anyone have any suggestions, how would you code this to wait for another ajax request?

I'm thinking that maybe FastCGI might be a solution, and since I generally use a Tcl interpretor with COBOL, maybe using Tcl with FastCGI would be even better. 

All ideas welcome!

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