I'm not willing to read the whole document about COBOL format, but for registries with fixed size you will probably want to use pack and unpack. For variable size, you can use split, regular expressions and subtr to do the job.
Once you have the abstraction to make the code smart enough to figure out which kind of format it uses, maybe you will want to write a module that reads the file and parses it in an easier way
Alceu Rodrigues de Freitas Junior
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