Few days ago the gcobol project was unveiled, whose goal is to create a free compiler for the COBOL programming language and found on the GCC Compiler Set Developers mailing list.
In its current form, gcobol is being developed as a fork of GCC, but once the development is complete and the project is stabilized, it is planned to propose the changes to be included in the main composition of GCC.
So far we have compiled just over 100 example programs in
Basic Cobol for Programmers by Michael Coughlin. we are close to
end of that phase of the project, and we hope to have ISAM and Object-Oriented Cobol features implemented in the next few weeks. Us are working on the compilation of the NIST COBOL test suite, which we hope it will take a few months to complete. We have also started working on gdb, and I hope to have it up and running by the end of the year.
The reason of the creation of the new project is the desire to obtain a free licensed COBOL compiler that facilitates the migration of applications from IBM mainframes to systems running Linux.
The community has been developing an independent free project that many of you may already know, but for those who are unaware of the project, you should know that this is "GnuCOBOL" for a long time, but it is a compiler that translates code into the C language and also does not provide full support even for the COBOL 85 standard and does not pass the full set of benchmark tests, which repels financial institutions that use COBOL in work projects .
Gcobol is based on GCC technologies tested and has been developed for more than a year by a full-time engineer. The existing GCC backend used to generate executable files, and COBOL source processing is separated into a separate interface developed by the project.
So far I know that the compiler successfully builds 100 examples from the "Beginning COBOL for Programmers" book, and support for ISAM and COBOL object-oriented extensions is planned to be added to gcobol in the coming weeks. Within a few months, gcobol's functionality is planned to pass the NIST benchmark test suite.
Ours is also not to be confused with previous efforts to create a gcc
Cobol compiler. Others have tried and failed. The failure was not
option for us. I won't say it was easy, but here we are.
Eventually, if the gcc maintainers are interested, we'd like to
look for full integration with gcc. At the moment, we have questions.
we hope they can be answered here by those who ran the gauntlet
before us. Given the state of the internal documentation, that seems
as our best option. We've been rummaging through the odd sock
drawer for too long.
For those who are unaware of COBOL, they should know that eThis is a programming language who turns 63 this year and that still stands as one of the oldest programming languages in active use, as well as one of the leaders in terms of written code.
The language continues to evolve for example, COBOL-2002 added capabilities for object-oriented programming, and COBOL 2014 introduced support for the IEEE-754 floating-point specification, method overloading, and dynamically expanded tables.
The total amount of code written in COBOL is estimated at 220 billion lines, of which 100 billion are still in use, mostly in financial institutions. For example, as of 2017, 43% of banking systems continued to use COBOL. COBOL code is used in the processing of about 80% of personal financial transactions and in 95% of terminals that accept bank card payments.
Finally for those interested in knowing more about it about the project, they should know that the project code is distributed under the GPLv3 license and you can consult it from the following link