Cobol Script

From the FAQ on the now-defunct site:

What is CobolScript�?

CobolScript is a scalable, cross-platform interpreted programming language and development environment. CobolScript makes internet and intranet development accessible and practical for development teams that are either unfamiliar or dissatisfied with other internet development alternatives.

When your CobolScript environment includes a database and web server, CobolScript also functions as middleware to connect your internet clients and web server to your database.

Who came up with the idea for CobolScript?

Matt Dean and Charles Shereda, the founders of Deskware, began working with the concept of an alternative internet development solution in 1996.

They recognized at this time that the internet development solutions available were all designed from the bottom up, rather than from the top down. These bottom-up programming languages evolved primarily through the whims of technicians or marketers, rather than through a clear, singular vision, and consequently they lacked cohesion and direction. In the case of Perl in particular, the language designers openly touted the esotericism of the language with code obfuscation contests in their official Developer's Journal. Clearly, something here was wrong.

Matt and Charles realized that unless an alternative was devised, the vast majority of the world's programmers would be forced to adopt languages that have technical rather than functional roots. As a result, the state of managing existing information systems, and the extremely valuable knowledge of those existing systems, would regress by many years, even as the numbers of development projects grew exponentially.

For this reason, they developed CobolScript, a concise, complete internet development solution with a clear focus and a functional basis.

Why should I select CobolScript as my development platform?

CobolScript was designed using a top-down approach, with the IS project team in mind. It has a logical, structured syntax that is ideal for teams unfamiliar with difficult-to-learn internet programming languages. Your development teams will adapt quickly to CobolScript development without the prohibitive training expenses or effort required with languages like Java� or Perl.

CobolScript also has a range of features that makes it a robust and scalable solution; see the CobolScript Features page for details.

If you're an individual developer and you want to acquire new and different skills by building on your existing ones, then CobolScript is also for you.


I first saw this page and then I knew it had to be a joke. But after I visited the webpage, I'm not so sure. Is this for real?

-- StephanHouben

Unfortunately, I have to think it is for real... I mean, the domain was created back in 1998 and then there's this news article in The Tampa Bay Business Journal... Scary.

What is scary about it? The integration of information into forms readable and useful to current users immediate language of choice is no difficult chore for a language which has performed for decades on all kinds of computers. Instead of writing information to disc or to printers, a simple redirection to a special character delimited or space delimited file for manipulation, interpretation and presentation by the modern, up-to-dae (for now) language should present little problem.

Snippet from website:

 000067    5 `<TD align=right>`. 
 000068    5 remaining_asset_value PIC $$$$$$.99. 
 000069    5 `</TD>`. 
 000071    5 `<TD align=right>`. 
 000072    5 amount_depreciated  PIC $$$$$$.99. 
 000073    5 `</TD>`. 
 000074    5 `</TR>`. 
 000077  1 footer_html. 
 000078    5 `</TABLE></BODY></HTML>`. 
 000081  MAIN. 
 000082      GETENV USING `CONTENT_LENGTH` content_length. 
 000083      IF content_length > 0 
 000085      END-IF. 
 000087      DISPLAYLF web_page_top. 

I have seen it all now. I no longer fear getting flattened by a wayward SUV.
This whole page is a joke, right? I mean, COBOL? As if!

If you are long-time COBOLer who failed to keep his/her skills up-to-date, then something like this may extend your career for a while.
This is no joke. Even though it was designed for the Internet, I have developed two applications - one a stand-a-lone, and the other for an Intranet.

If you have COBOL programming skills, this allows you to use most of the verbs (it lacks verbs from COBOL 2002 and on) and it has built-in access to SQL databases, such as mySQL, MS_SQL, ORACLE. etc. Programs can run as a script (interpreted) or as an executable. So this is no joke.

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