Helping with GNU COBOL project

  • Tony Girgenti

    Tony Girgenti - 2014-08-19


    I want to help with the GNU COBOL project.

    I tried following the information in the FAQ, but I just can't figure out how I join the project.

    Does anybody know where I would go to offer my help?


    • Brian Tiffin

      Brian Tiffin - 2014-08-20


      I tried following the information in the FAQ, but I just can't figure out how I join the project.

      I'll get that fixed. As Simon stated, this is the place.


  • Simon Sobisch

    Simon Sobisch - 2014-08-19

    Welcome Tony, this is the right place.

    How are you related to COBOL?
    What are your current skills, what do you want to help with?


  • Tony Girgenti

    Tony Girgenti - 2014-08-19

    Hello Simon.

    I have been writing and modifying COBOL programs since 1967 on various computers and platforms. From RCA Spectra 70, IBM 370, Burroughs 3500, Wang VS, HP 3000 and Micro Focus COBOL on PCs.

    I will help with whatever you feel you want to assign to me.


    • Simon Sobisch

      Simon Sobisch - 2014-08-20

      You surely can help with your knowledge. For example with things like MOVE TO level-01-item-with-complex-odo [#61] (if you've seen thing like that).

      Sharing knowledge on forum posts and/or tickets is always a good idea (you may want to subscribe to all forums and the tickets-tools [by opening each of them and click on the letter top/right]).

      You likely have some COBOL code with your Copyrights (without possible claims from an employer) that you can submit to the contrib repository.

      Actually there is a COBOL program which you could write, this would save me some time if you want to do so (otherwise I will code it this weekend). This will be a sample for system calls CBL_..._FILE and text processing. It has to process an svn dump file (part-binary, need changes in text areas and correct the check sum [simple character count]). Do you want to do this?

      Can you help with translating the message catalogues to other languages than English?

      What about your skill set in C/C++, maybe even bison (Yacc) / flex?




      Bugs: #61

  • Sergio Samayoa

    Sergio Samayoa - 2014-08-20

    Hi Tony!

    You have been writing COBOL programs since the year I was born!


    Grad to meet an honorable and real dinosaur!

    FWIW I programmed for living in COBOL 1987-1992.
    Ah! those simpler and nicer times!
    You only need to know a bunch of OS commands and one programming language.


  • Joe Robbins

    Joe Robbins - 2014-08-20

    Hello Tony

    Your reference to Burroughs 3500 caught my eye! You beat me by a "generation" my first COBOL coding was when I started with Burroughs (London) on B2800 B3800 B4800 - or MEDIUM SYSTEMS as they were known.

    Mind you before that I worked on real-time programming for RN systems with Ferranti - so I was a late-comer to COBOL!

  • Luke Smith

    Luke Smith - 2014-08-20

    This is a little off topic. I noticed several here having done work on Burroughs computers. I believe this computer got repackaged as the Unisys-A computer.

    Is it true that this computer uses 9 bits for each byte? If so, when it writes out a file, does it write the characters out as normal 8 bit? If so, what is the 9th bit used for? Just curious.

    Last edit: Luke Smith 2014-08-20
  • Brian

    Brian - 2014-08-21

    uhh well as Tony brought up this topic I'd like to contribute as well.
    doing COBOL coding, compiling and testing (MF against GNUC) for my study 10 hours a day I somehow feel I'd also be able to help.

    calling myself COBOL beginner and having medium knowledge about C/C++ I tend to avoid programming any bug fixes (to be honest I haven't even peaked into the GNUC code once =) ) but I'm ready for whatever needs to be done.
    "Difficult to see. Always in motion is the future"

    best wishes,

    • Simon Sobisch

      Simon Sobisch - 2014-08-21

      We can add "tweaking GC to optionally behave more like MF" to the study as soon as you publish your results (maybe posting not all at once but adding step by step).




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