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OK, so who knows what COBOL is?
#1
I hated learning COBOL at college, but now I see what I missed.
Discuss.....


(and, YES, I do know what COBOL stands for)
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#2
Ooh interesting one.  Its been a while but if i remember correctly COBOL is one of the oldest programming languages still in active use. I think its name is an acronym for COmmon Business-Oriented Language, defining its primary domain in business, finance, and administrative systems for companies and governments.
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#3
i only know what COBOL is as i take A-level computing and we had to do a small section on it  Sad

man VB is alot easier ;D
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#4
Just of the top of my head

A specification of COBOL was initially created during the second half of 1959. The scene was set on April 8 at a meeting of computer manufacturers, users and university people at the University of Pennsylvania Computing Center and subsequently the United States Department of Defense agreed to sponsor and oversee the next activities. A meeting was held at the Pentagon on May 28 and 29 (exactly one year after the Zürich ALGOL 58 meeting), chaired by Charles A. Phillips. There it was decided to set up three committees, short, intermediate and long range (the last one was actually never formed). It was the Short Range Committee, chaired by Joseph Wegstein of the US National Bureau of Standards, that during the next months would create a description of the first version of COBOL.[2] The committee was formed to recommend a short range approach to a common business language. The committee was made up of members representing six computer manufacturers and three government agencies. The six computer manufacturers were Burroughs Corporation, IBM, Minneapolis-Honeywell (Honeywell Labs), RCA, Sperry Rand, and Sylvania Electric Products. The three government agencies were the US Air Force, the David Taylor Model Basin, and the National Bureau of Standards (now National Institute of Standards and Technology). The intermediate-range committee was formed but never became operational. In the end a sub-committee of the Short Range Committee developed the specifications of the COBOL language. This sub-committee was made up of six individuals:

    * William Selden and Gertrude Tierney of IBM
    * Howard Bromberg and Howard Discount of RCA
    * Vernon Reeves and Jean E. Sammet of Sylvania Electric Products[3]

This subcommittee completed the specifications for COBOL in December 1959. The specifications were to a great extent inspired by the FLOW-MATIC language invented by Grace Hopper, commonly referred to as "the mother of the COBOL language", the IBM COMTRAN language invented by Bob Bemer, and the FACT language from Honeywell.

The name COBOL was decided upon at a meeting of the committee held on 18 Sept. 1959.

The first compilers for COBOL were subsequently implemented during the year 1960 and on 6 and 7 Dec. essentially the same COBOL program was run on two different makes of computers, an RCA computer and a Remington-Rand Univac computer, demonstrating that compatibility could be achieved.

Since 1959 COBOL has undergone several modifications and improvements. In an attempt to overcome the problem of incompatibility between different versions of COBOL, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) developed a standard form of the language in 1968. This version was known as American National Standard (ANS) COBOL. In 1974, ANSI published a revised version of (ANS) COBOL, containing a number of features that were not in the 1968 version. In 1985, ANSI published still another revised version that had new features not in the 1974 standard. The language continues to evolve today. In the early 1990's it was decided to add object-orientation in the next full revision of COBOL. The initial estimate was to have this revision completed by 1997 and an ISO CD (Committee Draft) was available by 1997. Some implementers (including Micro Focus, Fujitsu, and IBM) introduced object-oriented syntax based on the 1997 or other drafts of the full revision. The final approved ISO Standard (adopted as an ANSI standard by INCITS) was approved and made available in 2002.

Like the C++ programming language, object-oriented COBOL compilers are available even as the language moves toward standardization.

The 2002 (4th revision) of COBOL included many other features beyond object-orientation. These included (but are not limited to):

    * National Language support (including but not limited to Unicode support)
    * Locale-based processing
    * User-defined functions
    * CALL (and function) proto-types (for compile-time parameter checking)
    * Pointers and syntax for getting and freeing storage
    * Bit and Boolean support
    * “Trueâ€Â� binary support (up until this enhancement, binary items were truncated based on the (base-10) specification within the Data Division)
    * Floating-point support
    * Standard (or portable) arithmetic results
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#5
Pretty much as i thought, Buzz
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#6
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/05/28/cobol_fifty/
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