Semiautomatic Translation of COBOL into HIBOL.
MASSACHUSETTS INST OF TECH CAMBRIDGE LAB FOR COMPUTER SCIENCE
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A severe software crisis is currently being experienced by the data processing community due to intolerable maintenance costs. A system is introduced to reduce those costs by the translation of existing COBOL software into HIBOL a very high level language that is significantly easier to maintain. HIBOL, uses a single type of data object, called a flow, which is an indexed stream of data values. Computation is expressed as operations acting on flows. The translation process relies on a method for program abstraction developed by Richard Waters which expresses programs as a hierarchical structure, called an analyzed plan, in which control and data flow is made explicit. In this formalism, loops are expressed as a composition of stream operators acting on stream data flow. This paper discusses in detail how an analyzed plan for a COBOL program can be transmitted into a HIBOL program. It is currently possible to translated into HIBOL analyzed plans for a relatively small but well defined subset of COBOL programs. Suggestions are made as to how that subset could be expanded through further research. Author
- Computer Programming and Software