Thread overview
Pondering. Computer Business. How serious this gets will be dependent on comments.
May 25
btiffin
May 25
btiffin
May 25
tsbockman
May 25
btiffin
May 27
Abdulhaq
May 25

Hello,

New old guy. I'm a programmer by trade, and a COBOL programmer by hobby. Working with the ISO committee on the next COBOL 202x Standard. This pondering will meander a bit.

I'm of the opinion that there are three major branches of programming. Computer Science, Computer Engineering and Computer Business. COBOL (and a rare few others) takes up the entire Computer Business slice of the programming language pie. Languages like FOCAL slot into a Computer Engineering slice. All the other programming languages are Computer Science languages.

How would the D team feel if someone came by with a module for base 10 decimal arithmetic? Bankers like decimal math, and still lean heavily on COBOL for counting up the fractional pennies.

How would the D team feel if someone came up with a module for block IO? Mainframes are block and record IO machines. Byte streams are usually layered on block IO. This implies a lot of "fixed length" fields. Again, a COBOL strength, and auditors seem to appreciate bounded, predictable data.

How would the D team feel if someone pressed for EBCDIC support? Perhaps not internal, but as an option.

D is firmly in the Computer Science slice of the pie. All good. A highly competitive market. I'd put language counts at 1 to 10 in Computer Business, 10 to 100 in Computer Engineering, and 1000 to 10,000 in Computer Science.

Would discussing Computer Business features be welcomed by team D, ignored, or actively railed against as an unwanted distraction? If the answer is welcomed (or ignored) I might take a stab at writing some code. If it'd be an unwelcome distraction at this point in time, then it would be best to just let the beast lie.

Not the complete picture, but at the core, Computer Business needs/wants Decimal Math, Block IO, EBCDIC, and at least a nod to mainframe idioms, and historic input/output mechanisms ala 80 column Card Punch and fixed 132 column print widths.

Please note: I am not a lawyer. This impression is from internet rumour and activity, and not from any legally binding legal advice

A nifty thing about modern times, mainframes are not as inaccessible as they used to be. There is a Hercules s/390 emulator, and s/370 mode. That s/370 mode runs way old (but still relevant) Operating Systems for frames that have been deemed Public Domain. MVS 3.8j and VM/370 R6 from the 1970s and early 1980s. Hobbyists have extended these sources to tackle some quality of life issues, and new releases are being worked on, as I type this. Along with GCC v4 C compilation. Much to be learned from this. The hobby kits actually put you in charge of a frame OS. System administration lore of mainframes is usually on an as-needed basis, but the hobby kits are wide open for exploring those pieces of technarcana that most developers would never get a chance to be exposed to.

So, would adding features of Computer Business help or hurt D at this point? *As a carrot, and again this is wide eyed pondering, not yet based in any realities. I might be able to convince the standards team to open an Appendix in the COBOL Standard for D interoperability, much like the Ada Appendix B documentation. At this point in time, the little bits of interoperability in the COBOL specs are usually Java centric. D can do (or should do) Enterprise just as well as Java, but can anyone see D with Business saddles?

Have good, make well,
Blue

May 25

On Tuesday, 25 May 2021 at 20:04:46 UTC, btiffin wrote:

>

How would the D team feel if someone came by with a module for base 10 decimal arithmetic? Bankers like decimal math, and still lean heavily on COBOL for counting up the fractional pennies.

I am not on the D team, so I cannot speak for them. But you can share you modules using the package system Dub. I believe Intel has a base 10 C library you can bind to.

>

How would the D team feel if someone pressed for EBCDIC support? Perhaps not internal, but as an option.

You can create your own fork and extend the lexer if you need to. Or just do it as a module.

>

Would discussing Computer Business features be welcomed by team D, ignored, or actively railed against as an unwanted distraction? If the answer is welcomed (or ignored) I might take a stab at writing some code. If it'd be an unwelcome distraction at this point in time, then it would be best to just let the beast lie.

No idea, but I dont think you need language support as D has good enough meta programming capabilities for you to do what you want as a library.

>

can anyone see D with Business saddles?

No idea, are they interested in something that does not have IBM approval?

May 25

On Tuesday, 25 May 2021 at 20:37:45 UTC, Ola Fosheim Grostad wrote:

> >

can anyone see D with Business saddles?

No idea, are they interested in something that does not have IBM approval?

First up, I'm answering this after assuming the "they" in are they interested, is the COBOL standard folk, not the D team. If the open question is from the point of view of the D team, then this answer is off page.

The COBOL Standards people go out of their way to describe it as an industry language, not proprietary or beholden to any particular corporation. Although dropped in the latest ISO docs, this was always (circa 1960) included in the preamble for Standard COBOL:

>

COBOL is an industry language and is not the property of any company or group
of companies, or of any organization or group of organizations.

That was on purpose, to avoid the impression of Yet Another IBM monopoly.

Cheers,
Blue

May 25

On Tuesday, 25 May 2021 at 20:53:43 UTC, btiffin wrote:

>

First up, I'm answering this after assuming the "they" in are they interested, is the COBOL standard folk, not the D team. If the open question is from the point of view of the D team, then this answer is off page.

I was thinking maybe the Business mainframe people would have problems with something without IBM approval? On the other hand I think there was someone in this forum that used COBOL for some kind of automation, or is my memory playing tricks with me? Maybe if you search the forums you will find D users that are interested in COBOL, but currently inactive in the forums?

>

That was on purpose, to avoid the impression of Yet Another IBM monopoly.

Got it! :-)

If you find that you want to create yor own version of D for this purpose then I am sure taht you won't be ignored. As long as you have a library that can convert to utf-8, it should not be too difficult to make some modifications. Just ask. I for one wont ignore you :-D sounds fun!

May 25

I am not any kind of decision maker or gatekeeper here, but I have been active in the forums here for years, and made some small contributions to the compiler, standard library, and runtime, so I have some understanding of the process.

On Tuesday, 25 May 2021 at 20:04:46 UTC, btiffin wrote:

>

How would the D team feel if someone came by with a module for base 10 decimal arithmetic?

There is definitely interest in this. Many people have asked for it on the forums before, and various members of the community have created Dub packages. At a glance, Razvan Stefanescu's "decimal" appears to be the most complete.

If one of those appears suitable to you, you could participate in its development and maintenance, or advocate for its inclusion in the D standard library.

>

How would the D team feel if someone came up with a module for block IO? Mainframes are block and record IO machines. Byte streams are usually layered on block IO. This implies a lot of "fixed length" fields. Again, a COBOL strength, and auditors seem to appreciate bounded, predictable data.

I believe this can also be done as a Dub package to start. If you think someone would like to use it, just go write it. Again, it can be added to the standard library later, after the code has proven itself, if needed.

>

How would the D team feel if someone pressed for EBCDIC support? Perhaps not internal, but as an option.

This can also be done as a library, and added to Phobos later if that seems wise.

>

I'd put language counts at 1 to 10 in Computer Business,

Out of curiosity, what else do you consider to be a "Computer Business" language? Java?

>

Would discussing Computer Business features be welcomed by team D, ignored, or actively railed against as an unwanted distraction?
...
So, would adding features of Computer Business help or hurt D at this point?

Language/compiler changes are very expensive, and D2 has a huge backlog of important work to get through there. Quite a few compiler pull requests rot on the vine due to insufficient review capacity as it is.

Library changes and additions scale much better, and good work will generally be welcomed even by people who have no intention of every using it, personally. Just don't try to start anything big inside Phobos - the community has learned not to be in a rush to set unproven APIs in stone.

May 25

Aside from a nice thank you for the input...

On Tuesday, 25 May 2021 at 22:01:46 UTC, tsbockman wrote:

>

Out of curiosity, what else do you consider to be a "Computer Business" language? Java?

Nope. Java is base-2 math by default. It tries hard to be Enterprise (and does not a bad job), but I don't count it as Business. Rexx is base-10 math, designed by Mike Cowlishaw, who is also responsible for a lot of the base-10 libraries in use and development. But, Rexx is a scripting language, counts as a Computer Science language (in my opinion).

I count things like Digital's DIBOL, or maybe (this is stretching things), SAP and PeopleSoft, but I count those as more Enterprise Computer Science applications.

SQL might count, but engines are usually implemented with base-2 arithmetic, so it doesn't, really. But it could.

Computer Business is a very narrow field, one of the reasons COBOL still rules the roost. No real competition. A lot of the Engineering languages are being left behind now too, FOCAL and the like are not really getting much focused attention (given my limited view of the vast vast world). Everyone wants to compete in the general Computer Science arena. All good, but it does make standing out quite a bit harder. Popularity in computer science programming languages is mostly random luck and too much "good enough is good enough". (Or, in the Java land case, a 500 million dollar intro campaign meant to guarantee more eyeballs). Computer Business is rather boring in terms of programming, but an absolute necessity to many behind the scenes.

And again, thanks for the insights.

I guess the thing I'm looking out for is "Don't!", and if that doesn't happen, then I might try a few things to test waters. A "we don't care" is ok, as long as it isn't a "Don't! it will dilute the goals of the core team at a time the core team can't afford distractions" or "we have no plans to cater to Business" (as in my definition of Computer Business programming, not that D doesn't want to help any businesses, which I'm sure it does (both, want to and already helping)). ;-)

Have good,
Blue

May 27

On Tuesday, 25 May 2021 at 20:04:46 UTC, btiffin wrote:

>

Hello,

New old guy. I'm a programmer by trade, and a COBOL programmer by hobby. Working with the ISO committee on the next COBOL 202x Standard. This pondering will meander a bit.

LOL https://forum.dlang.org/post/tfwuaregczsbmnexgxyi@forum.dlang.org