Published by Hayden Books.

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4 stars (1 review)

Inspired by the "Elements of Style" by Strunk and White--in that the authors address those COBOL programmers who similarly value rigor, conciseness, and clarity when writing carefully constructed, readable programs. The proverbs are a set of simple guidelines, as an easier way to learn good programming. While rules of style do restrict the programmer, they also enable programmers to focus creativity on the deeper issues in programming. This book is designed as a guide to better COBOL programming, especially for those programmers who have an interest in improving software quality.

1 edition

Suprising resonant though I don't know COBOL

4 stars

I picked this book up on a whim when it was on a free shelf outside a store in a tiny town in New Mexico. I was intrigued by a book about programming from 1976 with a cover that gave a feeling of downright whimsy; cherubs, intricate ornamental patterns along the border. And even the title: "COBOL with Style" gave it a more modern feel. Most older programming books I have encountered have a much dryer, matter-of-fact presentation, setting out to teach you the facts of the language.

Though I've never written a line of COBOL in my life, and never plan to, I decided to read this anyway and I was pleasantly surprised by how much of it felt applicable. It spends most of the first half encouraging you not to just jump into programming, but spending time upfront assessing and fleshing out the actual problem, planning your approach …