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COBFD was a very usefull program. Perhaps we can create one ourself in GNU COBOL? 😁

COBFD was a very usefull program. Perhaps we can create one ourself in GNU COBOL? 😁

COBFD was a very usefull program. Perhaps we can create one ourself in GNU COBOL? 😁

(OP)
Hi Team,

I am missing the good old COBFD program that worked fine, calculating offsets of record definitions in the past and is still working using DOS BOX. But it would be nice if we would have a program of our own, working in GNU COBOL. Just wondering if we have to start from scratch or that we can re-use something to start with.

Best regards,

Crox

RE: COBFD was a very usefull program. Perhaps we can create one ourself in GNU COBOL? 😁

I have something in REXX that does this for PL/I, but wouldn't it be just as simple to run it through the compiler and look at what the compiler thinks it looks like?

Frank Clarke
--America's source for adverse opinions since 1943.

RE: COBFD was a very usefull program. Perhaps we can create one ourself in GNU COBOL? 😁

(OP)
I don't have a rexx compiler. I am looking for a COBOL solution with COBOL source so that anyone in this team can adjust it to their own taste.

RE: COBFD was a very usefull program. Perhaps we can create one ourself in GNU COBOL? 😁

You have a COBOL compiler, don't you? Else, what do you intend to do with COBOL source code?

Frank Clarke
--America's source for adverse opinions since 1943.

RE: COBFD was a very usefull program. Perhaps we can create one ourself in GNU COBOL? 😁

I never heard about the COBFD program. Was it's input a cobol copybook and the output a list of fields with starting positions and lengths like on the example given here ? https://www.cobolcopybook.co.in/cpy/

RE: COBFD was a very usefull program. Perhaps we can create one ourself in GNU COBOL? 😁

(OP)
Looks nice. Thanks for the link. I gave it a big copybook with redefines, but it did only 5 lines and wanted a registration. It is commercial. They ask for money. The old cobfd works ok, but needs a dox box nowadays. I will build my own one within some time and will probably share it for free like we had here in the past.

When the program is there, generating XML or JSON or anything else is probably only a matter of time.

But it is very nice when our team here is working together. 😁

RE: COBFD was a very usefull program. Perhaps we can create one ourself in GNU COBOL? 😁

In 2005 I wrote for IBM iSeries a python program which parses macro generated part of working-storage from cobol source and generates an PCML file - which is type of XML from IBM - see:
https://www.ibm.com/docs/en/i/7.3?topic=programs-c...
The program only recognizes data types that we are using in our programs, i.e. character, zoned, and packed. The program runs on all platforms I'm using: IBM i, Linux, Windows.

RE: COBFD was a very usefull program. Perhaps we can create one ourself in GNU COBOL? 😁

I did a little research on the COBFD program and it looks like it was written by Michael Mattias in BASIC
- see: https://forum.powerbasic.com/forum/user-to-user-di...

CODE

' FILE : COBFD.BAS
' PURPOSE : Convert a COBOL FD file into a map of byte positions
'           in the record
...
... 

RE: COBFD was a very usefull program. Perhaps we can create one ourself in GNU COBOL? 😁

(OP)
I remember now I saw his name before, Michael Mattias. Fun that he wrote this in BASIC. 😂

RE: COBFD was a very usefull program. Perhaps we can create one ourself in GNU COBOL? 😁

But when the original program COBFD was written in BASIC, then there is not a reason to write such thing in COBOL smile

RE: COBFD was a very usefull program. Perhaps we can create one ourself in GNU COBOL? 😁

(OP)
you can write many solutions in any language. You can know a little of many languages. You can know a lot of one or a few, being a specialist, making libraries, source parts that can help you building a lot and smart things. In COBOL you can do a lot. That is why this language became very powerful and a lot of companies are using it. I prefer COBOL because once I have a good working program, it becomes part of my library, contributing to my abilities to achieve much more. But nothing stops you to use lots of other languages. Many years ago, when we started using small home computer with a z80a processor in it, we build programs using machine language. It was extremely fast. It can still be done with the newer processors. Bur I like COBOL. 😂 A lot.

RE: COBFD was a very usefull program. Perhaps we can create one ourself in GNU COBOL? 😁

The author of the COBFD program is offering the PowerBASIC source code of COBFD to anyone who wants to upsize it to 32-bits.

https://forum.powerbasic.com/forum/user-to-user-di...

He can be contacted via email (as noted in his message on the PowerBASIC forums).

Joe

RE: COBFD was a very usefull program. Perhaps we can create one ourself in GNU COBOL? 😁

I installed DOSBOX to see how COBFD works.
It works really nicely - recognizes all data types I can think off: alphanumeric, numeric with or without sign, COMP-3, condition variables, OCCURS tables.

COBFD user interface:


COBFD output:


But who knows, without seeing the source, how much work "to upsize it to 32-bits" can take. In the optimistic case it could only mean the new compilation with the current PowerBasic compiler, but I don't believe in it much, because if it were that easy the author would have done it himself. Much more, I think that it could take a lot of work.

RE: COBFD was a very usefull program. Perhaps we can create one ourself in GNU COBOL? 😁

(OP)
yes Mikrom, it sure is a nice program. I can use a COBOL implementation for my own, new environment that will work with GNU COBOL. I hoped that someone had something usable. But if not, after a few weeks, I will make a similar program myself. If possible, I will publish it here as an executable or at any other place. We will see. 😁

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