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Re: [open-cobol-list] Identification Division still needed!

From: Gary Cutler
Subject: Re: [open-cobol-list] Identification Division still needed!
Date: Fri, 6 Feb 2015 13:15:11 -0500


I believe that - in keeping with standards - that should have been:



I made the statements I did in the manual only because most shops seem to be 
discouraging the use of the descriptive paragraphs when COBOL85 (of any type) 
is being used. 

The place where I work (New York State Office for Temporary and Disability 
Assistance - a UNISYS shop) cannot migrate a program into production that uses 
those clauses.  They have the compiler set to maximum alerting, even on simple 
standards violations, and when the migration system compiles COBOL85 (UNISYS 
UCOB) programs in order to move them to production, the compilations fail if 

We fake it out by coding the ID paragraphs and then commenting them out. 

Sent from my iPhone

> On Feb 6, 2015, at 10:10 AM, John Culleton <address@hidden> wrote:
>             START RANT.
> One of the biggest mistakes made by CODASYL and
> its successors is the gradual annihilation of the 
> Identification Division. In 2015 as in 1959
> programmers love to program and hate to document.
> The standard paragraphs in the ID regularize and
> encourage internal documentation. The most useful
> paragraph was 'REMARKS' which was the first
> to go. I always judged a programs quality starting
> with the Remarks paragraph. Today, lacking an
> official paragraph wise programmers create what
> amounts to a Remarks paragraph and highlight it by
> surrounding it on fours sides with asterisks.
> Frankly that is a lot more work then just
> including the standard paragraph names 
> in the personal template.
> The superb manual by Gary Cutler discourages
> their use, even if they are included in GNU
> Cobol for compatibility with older programs.
> I would instead encourage their use. I use each
> paragraph for what it name says. I use the
> Security paragraph for my copyright statement.
> The mavens who create the Cobol standard made and
> keep making a serious mistake. We don't need to
> follow their folly. GMH was right and she is
> still right. External documentation in a ring
> binder gets lost when management changes or the
> office moves. Internal documentation is there
> forever. This is one of the things that make Cobol
> self-documenting and hence raises it above all
> other programming languages.
> If a program is moved to a less englightened
> Cobol environment it is little work to add some
> asterisks. they can even be added in advance.
>           END RANT.
> -- 
> John Culleton
> COBOL since 1968
> Wexford Press
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