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So there I was, about 6 months ago, working on an IBM mainframe with a piece of COBOL code that wasn't working. The code was supposed to take a comma-delimited string and parse it out into a fixed width string. For those of you who are familiar with COBOL, this is not a trivial task.

The relevant section of code was about 150 lines of rather dense (for COBOL) code. After reading through it and seeing what was going on, I realized that the original author did not understand the proper use of the UNSTRING function (which is similar in concept to Perl's split function).

I rewrote the code and fixed the bug. In the process, I managed to shrink it down to about 80 lines of code. Then, just to play around, I rewrote that section in Perl.

It took 10 lines of code.

Any guesses as to why I quit? And for the record, I am 32 years old and I occassionally found myself fixing code that was written before I was born. :(

In reply to COBOL vs. Perl by Ovid

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