TITLE: An Uncommon Language Gap AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford DATE: January 11, 2010 8:41 PM DESC: ----- BODY: This semester, I am teaching my programming languages course, in which students and I program using Scheme. Due to an unexpected but welcome uptick in enrollment across the department, I will also be team-teaching a 10-week course on Cobol. We are one of the few CS programs that still try to offer Cobol, and when our attempt this time resulted in a class large enough to run, we didn't want to cancel it.
    05  EOF-SWITCH              PIC  X          VALUE "F".
        88  AT-END-OF-FILE                      VALUE "T", "t".
It's been a long time since I have spanned two such different languages in the same semester. I'll have to resist the urge to implement curried paragraphs in Cobol, though try to replicate Cobol's Data Division magic in Scheme might be fun. It will certainly underscore just how different a couple of Cobol's features are from what students encounter in modern languages. It will be interesting to see how my time thinking about Cobol will affect what I say and do in Programming Languages. -----