Caktus announces a switch from Django to COBOL, an older method still full of potential

Caktus Changing from Django to New COBOL-based Framework

Beginning immediately, Caktus will build new projects using our new COBOL-based framework, ADD COBOL TO WEB.


We've come to realize that new-fangled languages like Python (1989) offer nothing that more time-tested languages such as COBOL (1959) cannot. We're tired of trying to keep up with the latest, greatest thing (Django, 2003). Accordingly, we're going back to old, reliable COBOL.

Flexible and Powerful

COBOL provides us with flexibility and power that Python cannot match. A statement like "ALTER X PROCEED TO Y" can remotely modify a GO TO statement in procedure X to target a completely different place in the program!


Here's "Hello, world" in COBOL:

PROGRAM-ID. hello-world.
    DISPLAY "Hello, world!"

What could be simpler? Statements are terminated by periods, which we've been used to since childhood. No pesky parentheses, just write DISPLAY "Hello, world!" and the program displays Hello, world!.

COBOL for the Web

Of course, COBOL pre-dates the web, so it doesn't come with support for building websites. We have therefore developed a new framework, ADD COBOL TO WEB, that links COBOL to this new-fangled (1989) web.

We take full advantage of COBOL's built-in templating facilities: the PICTURE clause and the Report Writer. This is ideal for table output:

01  sales-on-day TYPE DETAIL, LINE + 1.
    03  COL 3                    VALUE "Sales on".
    03  COL 12                   PIC 99/99/9999 SOURCE sales-date.
    03  COL 21                   VALUE "were".
    03  COL 26                   PIC $$$$9.99 SOURCE sales-amount.

And the application to generating HTTP responses and HTML content is, of course, obvious.

Open Source

We plan to share the complete source for ADD COBOL TO WEB as soon as someone ports git to COBOL.

Customer Benefit

Our customers will appreciate our use of long-established tools to build their websites, with future maintainability guaranteed by the many COBOL programmers in the workforce.

The IBM 370

IBM System 370, image by via Wikimedia Commons.

Future Plans

We recently picked up an IBM 370 from eBay and are arranging shipping, and additional power to our office basement. We've been assured the 370 was state-of-the-art for COBOL in its day, and can compile literally tens of statements per minute. Once our business takes off, we'll be able to afford a 256 KB memory expansion to speed it up even more!

Also, keep an eye on our job postings. We will soon be looking for experienced mainframe operators who can help us deploy our new applications.

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