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Beginning COBOL for Programmers by Michael Coughlan

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CHAPTER 2

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COBOL Foundation

This chapter presents some of the foundational material you require before you can write COBOL programs. It starts by identifying some elements of COBOL that programmers of other languages find idiosyncratic and it explains the reasons for them. You’re then introduced to the unusual syntax notation (called metalanguage) used to describe COBOL verbs and shown some examples.

COBOL programs have to conform to a fairly rigid hierarchical structure. This chapter introduces the structural elements and explains how each fits into the overall hierarchy. Because the main structural element of a COBOL program is the division, ...

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