If you are like this speaker, you switched to the COBOL-85 compiler a long time ago, but kept coding in the same style you used for COBOL-74. This was so easy to do, COBOL-85 being a superset of COBOL-74, and retaining essentially all of the MCP extensions to the standard language. The super part of that superset is really super, however. COBOL-85 contains a rich collection of features that allow us to write cleaner, clearer, and more maintainable programs. 25 years after the introduction of those features, it’s high time we all started using them.
The speaker will review the additions in COBOL-85 syntax that allow us to write programs in a much different way than with earlier COBOL dialects. This review will focus on the much-improved flow-of-control constructs, data declaration and manipulation enhancements, and the intrinsic functions. Based on these features, the speaker will discuss the new style of programming he has developed over the past few years, along with examples of that new style and how, for him, it has replaced some of the really ugly stuff you had to do in COBOL-74.
While this presentation is specifically oriented to COBOL-85 for the MCP, programmers for other platforms will find much of this presentation applicable to COBOL-85 in their environment.