First COBOL compiler 
Author Message
 First COBOL compiler

Anyone know for what environment and when the first COBOL (and, for
that matter, other major languages) was available?
--
Richard Tibbetts
http://www.*-*-*.com/


Sat, 05 May 2001 03:00:00 GMT  
 First COBOL compiler
About 1966 or 1967 I had a COBOL compiler on a 16K IBM 1401.  At best it
was interesting.  I never did anything useful with it.  By then the
software was already a few years old so I know full well that probably
wasn't close to the earliest implementation, which would have been on
larger machines anyway.


Sat, 05 May 2001 03:00:00 GMT  
 First COBOL compiler

Quote:

>Anyone know for what environment and when the first COBOL (and, for
>that matter, other major languages) was available?

Please do your own homesork.

DD



Sat, 05 May 2001 03:00:00 GMT  
 First COBOL compiler

Quote:



>>Anyone know for what environment and when the first COBOL (and, for
>>that matter, other major languages) was available?

>Please do your own homesork.

>DD

Learn to spell and grow up, sunshine.
--
Richard Tibbetts
http://www.ppeace.demon.co.uk/


Sat, 05 May 2001 03:00:00 GMT  
 First COBOL compiler

Quote:

>About 1966 or 1967 I had a COBOL compiler on a 16K IBM 1401.  At best it
>was interesting.  I never did anything useful with it.  By then the
>software was already a few years old so I know full well that probably
>wasn't close to the earliest implementation, which would have been on
>larger machines anyway.

I knew someone would beat me! I first used it in 1977 (on a 360/40).
It was quite common (no pun!) by then, though I had trained in fortran
and Basic (as well as some proprietary languages I forget) prior to
that.
--
Richard Tibbetts
http://www.ppeace.demon.co.uk/


Sat, 05 May 2001 03:00:00 GMT  
 First COBOL compiler

Quote:




>>>Anyone know for what environment and when the first COBOL (and, for
>>>that matter, other major languages) was available?

>>Please do your own homesork.

>>DD

>Learn to spell and grow up, sunshine.

Learn the difference between a mistake in spelling and a typographical
error... and *then* please do your own homework.

DD



Sat, 05 May 2001 03:00:00 GMT  
 First COBOL compiler
The answer is, ...

1) Find the U.S. Navy person who is generally credited with the lead role in
COBOL's evolution.

2) Hint, it is possible that entering 'Navy' with a search engine harnessed to
comp.lang.cobol, and/or comp.compilers will fish out what you want. That is,
COBOL is not new, and your question is not either.

3) Map out the dates in her life. You then have the COBOL event dates sketched.

4) figure out why the Navy wanted anything to do with COBOL.

5) You can also back track from SNOBOL, and if I'm not mistaken, ALGOL, to
corral dates about COBOL

6) So, ... although, C does not derrive from COBOL C++ does, because C++
derrives conceptually from Simula, which derives from ALGOL which owes
something to COBOL.
As a consequence another approach might be to try to back track from C++.! ;-)

7) you could, of course, just try to find out which standards organizations
work with COBOL, and see if their sites have history entries.

8) Please be prepared for some bad news. There is a possibility that when you
get back to the first COBOL compiler that your term compiler becomes
historically a non sequitur.
For 'tis true that the early COBOL work actually influenced the evolution of
the concept of a compiler. One of the most important system concepts that came
from the Navy work was the development (in part) of the idea of addresses that
could be resolved later, stored at addresses that we could know now.

Such work, to have been done with source expressed  in COBOL syntax, must have
been done before the compiler as an architectural feature of the machine
environment. The early COBOL workers were not alone in their work on the linker
concepts, but they did pioneering work that made compilers as we know them
possible.

Thus the earliest COBOL syntax processors were not compilers. Intermediate
versions had some compiler features, and not others.

You are probalby after a simple answer like a date.  If you look at the real
pioneering work, you will not have a single date.  They. no doubt. back tracked
in their experiments, and you get into controversy as to what exact combination
of features constitutes a transition from interpreter to compiler.

Perhaps you really just want to know the date of the first commercial compiler
offering. How boring. But that has probably been posted too.

Try using a search engine angainst the relevant newsgroups. And I think the
FAQs for this newsgroups will give you leads to the standards organizations,
which may have pages on history.

9) For extra credit, when and where and who wrote the first linker? What are
the minimum necessary features of a linker? Can a COBOL compiler exist without
a linker?

10) for super-duper credit off the scale: if a de{*filter*} will accept commands in
source code syntax, jam them into your executable code and actually execute
them; well then, is that de{*filter*} an interpreter, or a compiler and where is
the linker?

Best of luch with your homesork,

Robert Rayhawk



Sat, 05 May 2001 03:00:00 GMT  
 First COBOL compiler
I used Cobol on both the DecSystem10 and the {*filter*} 7300
(control data) in either the late sixties or very early 70's.  Both
were considered mainframes and Cobol was considered a
production language.
Quote:

>About 1966 or 1967 I had a COBOL compiler on a 16K IBM 1401.  At best it
>was interesting.  I never did anything useful with it.  By then the
>software was already a few years old so I know full well that probably
>wasn't close to the earliest implementation, which would have been on
>larger machines anyway.



Sat, 05 May 2001 03:00:00 GMT  
 First COBOL compiler

Quote:

>4) figure out why the Navy wanted anything to do with COBOL.

And here I thought the Navy did all its work in the C's.


Sat, 05 May 2001 03:00:00 GMT  
 First COBOL compiler
First ANSA Standard that I am aware of was COBOL 67 for the IBM 360.


Sat, 05 May 2001 03:00:00 GMT  
 First COBOL compiler
Richard, a joint demo with Univac, and RCA took place in Philadelphia
and Cherry Hill in 1960-61 time frame. Several programs from a very
few sources were  compiled and run by both companies to demonstrate
to the CODASYL Executive Committee that the compilers and the concept
worked.  I have pictures of the people who were watching the demo, and
a Univac I tape containing a copy of that first compiler that was given
to my boss who was a member of that Exec. Committee. Grace had the
LETTERS COBOL in gold painted on the demo tapes, and RCA created binders
with all of the source code used in the demos.  I used to have
those, but they are probably gone now. However, someone may still have
copies.

Warren Simmons

Quote:

> Anyone know for what environment and when the first COBOL (and, for
> that matter, other major languages) was available?
> --
> Richard Tibbetts
> http://www.ppeace.demon.co.uk/



Sat, 05 May 2001 03:00:00 GMT  
 First COBOL compiler

Quote:

> About 1966 or 1967 I had a COBOL compiler on a 16K IBM 1401.  At best it
> was interesting.  I never did anything useful with it.  By then the
> software was already a few years old so I know full well that probably
> wasn't close to the earliest implementation, which would have been on
> larger machines anyway.

Welcome to the club! My COBOL training was on a 1401 in the spring of
'66 (at IBM's Boston ed center).

I suspect the 1400 implementation was one of IBM's first - the 1400
series dated back to the 50's ('57 or '58ish?) and was by far IBM's most
common system in the field. I worked for IBM as a Systems Engineer from
1965 thru 1969 and can't recall any customers in my branch office who
used COBOL prior to a S/360. In my experience, Autocoder was the
language of choice on the 1400 & 7000 series machines.

Bill {*filter*}



Sun, 06 May 2001 03:00:00 GMT  
 First COBOL compiler

Quote:

>Anyone know for what environment and when the first COBOL (and, for
>that matter, other major languages) was available?

Richard,

I cannot remeber where/when I got hte following list, therefore I cannot be sure if it is
entirely truthfull:

History of Computer Science
============================

1893:  Ada Lovelace discovers Charles Babbage

1895:  Ada Lovelace discovers the calculator is more fun than Charles Babbage

1950:  COBOL is born; world celebrates

1953:  FORTRAN is born; revenge on COBOL

1957:  Death of COBOL predicted

1963:  BASIC is born; a language for people who do counting on their fingers

1965:  Death of FORTRAN predicted

1966:  C is on the horizon

1973:  Death of COBOL predicted

1974:  Pascal is born; competition with C

1977:  C is born; revenge on FORTRAN

1979:  Ada is born; revenge on Charles Babbage

1982:  Death of FORTRAN predicted

1985:  Death of Charles Babbage predicted

1986:  Death of COBOL predicted

1991:  Charles Babbage legally pronounced dead

1993:  Death of BASIC predicted

1997:  merging of C and C++ into new language D

2001:  dark monolith discovered on Jupiter moon; determined to be an old COBOL card deck
for an accounts receivable program

2002:  COBOL reborn as COBOL++

2010:  Death of Pascal predicted

2020:  Death of COBOL predicted

with kind regards

Volker Bandke
(BSP GmbH)



Sun, 06 May 2001 03:00:00 GMT  
 First COBOL compiler


Quote:
>Anyone know for what environment and when the first COBOL (and, for
>that matter, other major languages) was available?

The first COBOL definition was CODASYL 1965.
This rapidly became USASI 1965 (United States of America Standards
Institute)
USASI became ANSI (same thig really)
This was followed by ANSI 1967 (American National Standards Institute)

I wrote 1/4 of COBOL Compiler in 1967 for ICL 4100 (also known as NCR
4100 and Elliot 4100, 4120 & 4130 models).

We used the CODASYL definition. The spec. for COBOL comprises a number
of parts as follows:- (I can't remeber all of them now)

neucleus
environment
table handling
file processing
procedure
etc.

Each one of these had several levels so that the implementor could
choose a level of compliance.

You might choose table handling level 1 which might only allow 2
dimensional occurs or you might choose a higher level giving occurs
depending on, search and search all. File handling levels would cover
peripherals such as paper tape, punch cards, disk drives (although these
were very rare then), mag tapes, printers etc. Our COBOL compiler took a
year approx. and about 10 man years cost. It was contracted out to a
software houe called Jack Harwell Data Processing. Jack Harwell had a
language name after him that he invented while at NCR called Language H.
We were paid 20,000 pounds as a fixed price. We used a large number of
COBOL programs to test the compiler which had been written to test the
RCA spector 70 which became the ICL System 4 (all copies of IBM System
360). We used to write 49 level data structures and write move
statements with 49 A IN B IN C IN D etc. and subscript them 49 times
with each subscript defines as SUB1 IN X IN Y IN Z ..... Then to test
even more we would write the statments as MOVE CORRESPINDING and check
all the generated MOVEs.

It would be interesting to know if many people know how the PERFORM verb
is implemented these days on say IBM mainframes.  I htink that many
people would be surprised at the gnerated code.

--
Greg Hayes



Sun, 06 May 2001 03:00:00 GMT  
 First COBOL compiler

Quote:

>The answer is, ...

>1) Find the U.S. Navy person who is generally credited with the lead role
in
>COBOL's evolution.

>2) Hint, it is possible that entering 'Navy' with a search engine harnessed
to
>comp.lang.cobol, and/or comp.compilers will fish out what you want. That
is,
>COBOL is not new, and your question is not either.

>3) Map out the dates in her life. You then have the COBOL event dates
sketched.

>4) figure out why the Navy wanted anything to do with COBOL.

I believe the Navy was looking for a uniform means of generating outbound,
and parsing inbound, message traffic.  The construction of the COBOL STRING
and UNSTRING verbs do seem relevant to that task, don't they?<g>

<< BIG snip>>

- Show quoted text -

Quote:

>Best of luch with your homesork,

>Robert Rayhawk




Sun, 06 May 2001 03:00:00 GMT  
 
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