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Jeroen W. Pluimers on .NET, C#, Delphi, databases, and personal interests

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Delphi and COBOL syntax highlighters

Posted by jpluimers on 2011/06/21

I’ve been working on a project that uses both COBOL and Delphi.

For documentation purposes, Syntax Highlighted code makes your code so much easier to read.

Delphi has GExperts for source code export (in either HTML or RTF), but it took me a while to find a good syntax highlighter for COBOL.

I finally found a COBOL syntax highighter at tohtml.com: it exports to HTML.

I’m glad I found that site, as they have a ton of syntax highlighters, divided into groups.

Quite amusing to see COBOL classified as ‘rare’ (given that it has one of the largest code bases in the world).

This is what they support:

  • main: Java
  • main: C
  • main: Visual Basic
  • main: PHP
  • main: C++
  • main: Perl
  • main: Python
  • main: C#
  • main: Ruby
  • main: JS.NET
  • main: VB.NET
  • main: Pascal
  • main: JavaScript
  • inet: html
  • inet: css
  • inet: css for html
  • inet: css for svg
  • inet: jsp
  • inet: xhtml transitional
  • inet: xhtml strict
  • inet: xhtml frameset
  • inet: asp – VBScript
  • inet: asp – JavaScript
  • inet: asp – PerlScript
  • inet: SVG 1.0
  • inet: ColdFusion
  • inet: ActionScript
  • inet: VBScript
  • xml: xml
  • xml: dtd
  • xml: xslt 1.0
  • xml: XML Schema
  • xml: Relax NG
  • xml: xlink
  • database: Clarion
  • database: Clipper
  • database: FoxPro
  • database: SQLJ (Java sql)
  • database: Paradox
  • database: SQL, PL/SQL
  • database: MySQL
  • scripts: Batch/Config.sys/NTcmd
  • scripts: sh/ksh/bash script
  • scripts: Apache httpd.conf
  • scripts: Config, INI and CTL
  • scripts: Colorer HRC
  • scripts: Colorer HRD
  • scripts: Delphi form
  • scripts: Java Compiler Compiler
  • scripts: Java properties
  • scripts: Lex
  • scripts: YACC
  • scripts: makefile
  • scripts: Regedit
  • scripts: Resources
  • scripts: TeX
  • scripts: OpenVMS DCL
  • scripts: VRML
  • scripts.install: RAR Install Script
  • scripts.install: Nullsoft Install Script
  • scripts.install: InnoSetup script
  • scripts.install: IS script
  • rare: ASM
  • rare: 1C
  • rare: Ada
  • rare: ABAP/4
  • rare: AutoIt 2.x
  • rare: AWK
  • rare: Dssp
  • rare: ADSP-21xx Asm
  • rare: Baan
  • rare: Cache/Open-M
  • rare: Cobol
  • rare: Eiffel
  • rare: Forth
  • rare: Fortran
  • rare: Haskell
  • rare: Icon
  • rare: IDL
  • rare: Lisp
  • rare: MatLab
  • rare: Modula2 and Oberon2
  • rare: PicAsm
  • rare: Rexx
  • rare: Standard ML
  • rare: OCaml
  • rare: Tcl/Tk
  • rare: Sicstus Prolog
  • rare: Turbo Prolog
  • rare: Verilog HDL
  • rare: VHDL
  • rare: z80asm
  • rare: asm80
  • rare: 8051 asm
  • rare: AVR asm
  • other: files.bbs
  • other: Diff/Patch
  • other: message
  • other: plain text
  • other: default type

–jeroen

6 Responses to “Delphi and COBOL syntax highlighters”

  1. Hi, I use to work with the same combination and have done a lot of work with COBOL + Delphi + PHP, that includes access to cobol ISAM files and databases, reports, web interfaces and web services.

  2. Sure, COBOL has quite a huge code base. But only a very, very small part of that code base is still under development. The rest is just stored in case a company needs te recompile it’s complete code again because of e.g. a migration to new hardware. COBOL is very popular in huge corporations, especially banks, because it’s created to handle huge databases with data. Still, finding a developer with COBOL experience is hard, nowadays, unless you’re interested into bringing some old guys back from retirement. The Y2K bug, for example, was a nightmare because of this huge code base that was written in COBOL, resulting in finished products decades before Y2K became an issue. So by the time they needed developers to solve the Y2K bugs in this code, they whole COBOL developers market has become very, very thin…
    Sometimes I think something similar will happen with Delphi/Pascal, since many Delphi-developers had to learn C# too, and most of them changed their mayor environment from Delphi to C# simply because C# was more popular, more up-to-date with the latest .NET versions and just as easy to use as Delphi. It lacked the option of creating WIN32 applications but since we’re shifting from desktops to (client/server) browser-based applications, no one really cared much. The Delphi IDE lost a lot of good developers to Visual Studio simply because more companies decided to build web applications instead of desktop applications. (Of course, PHP, Python, ColdFusion, Perl and a lot of other web development languages also took a lot of developers away from Delphi.)
    It won’t be long -i fear- before Delphi is also considered to be rare. Not because of it’s code base, since Delphi also has a huge code base. But because the number of Delphi developers is going down. It will stabilize one day, still leaving some developers who will favor Delphi over anything else, but with most Delphi code being “finished products”, who needs developers anyways?

    • jpluimers said

      The fun is that you can apply this same argument to other programming languages, platforms and technologies. VB6, Java, Windows CE, web 1.0, just to name a few.

      There are many interesting links about it; I’ll start with one search query, you can fill in the rest: https://encrypted.google.com/search?q=the+rise+and+fall+of+programming+languages

      In the end, a true developer can do it’s thing no matter what platform, programming language or technology.

      Many clients and recruiters still don’t get that though.

      –jeroen

      • WarrenP said

        I believe that clients and recruiters don’t get that, because they experience the pain of hiring poorly, and then they hypothesize (wrongly) that “more experience in the desired technology areas” would have solved their problem. A sufficiently smart developer, who gets things done, can learn anything, and do any technical task. Thus, the Joel-on-software style hiring criteria should be; Hire smart people who get things done. In the case of COBOL though you have an interesting problem; Nobody wants to do that job. I would probably take a job at a gas station, before I would take a job that involved touching COBOL. How many cobol programmers could write (in Notepad) a working COBOL program, without reference to any templates, or external sources, a sieve of eratosthenes? Ironically, I think Java is the new Cobol, with all its enforced-OOP-syntactic-barnacles.

        W

        • jpluimers said

          :) Actually, right now I’m at a project that involves both Delphi and COBOL. COBOL is on the System i (formerly known as iSeries, nah AS/400).
          The project is actually fun. The AS/400 is fun too: there it is so easy to have programs using different languages/technologies call each other.

          I’ve been a mixed-environment guy since very long ago, so I like these kinds of multi-disciplinary projects.
          –jeroen

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