Damn COBOL Programmers!

Damn Cobol programmers! (kinda OT)

Rant rant rant rant rant! I just wasted all afternoon trying to make what I thought was a simple 2-line change to a program, because the stupid programmer used a stupid misfeature of the stupid Cobol language.

Who the hell was writing new apps in Cobol as late as 1999 anyway? The stupid contractors hired by my stupid company, that’s who. And they must have been supervised by a stupid project manager (probably one of my ex-bosses) who failed to ride herd on them and enforce sensible coding standards.

I shouldn’t even have to touch this program anyway. All support for the old apps is supposed to be frozen so that we have time to design, build, and test the new apps. But no! Our CEO came down with a sudden allergy to one of our business partners, so now this database has to be ripped apart with such unseemly haste that reminds me of the college freshman who’s worried about missing the last day of the going-out-of-business sale at the whorehouse.

Not only did my change have no effect whatsoever, but I couldn’t even figure out how the original version of the program could have possibly worked. After wrestling all afternoon with this grotesquely structured monstrosity, I finally learn that in Cobol you can write a statement like:


and it not only moves the data into WS-WORK-RECORD but also into some totally different area named under the file description. And the cross reference doesn’t show that this other area is ever modified.

So I finally get to go home two hours late, with a headache.

I hate Cobol!

Okay, I’m done ranting. You can have your web site back now.


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