Once upon a time, every customer RFI had a question about the version of COBOL the compiler supported. That was years ago. I can't tell you the last time I got that question. Not only that, I can't recall when the last time anyone cared really.
Well, one reason I personally never get the RFI question is probably due to the fact that the Micro Focus dialect has become the defacto standard if you are working off the mainframe. And that just happens to be the toolset I work with. Yes, it is nice to be with the market leader *grin*. It does make life easier sometimes. The only version related question recently was "Do you support Enterprise COBOL?". Again, this was probably due to this being the version on the mainframe they used.
With these two exceptions in mind, I still don't see why companies have lost interest in the latest version of the COBOL standard. Ask a shop working with Java and you'll find out quickly if they are on 1.3 or a 1.6, etc. Same thing with the .Net framework. I guarantee you'll find out quickly if a company targets the 2.0 or 3.0 version of the .Net framework.
But the COBOL version? Maybe my imagination, but it doesn't seem to be that important anymore.
Could it be that everyone lumps every version into the same bucket? Its all just COBOL right?
As many may or may not know, the last published COBOL standard was released in 2002. There were a number of items in the 2002 edition related to Object Orientation which truely brought the language into the modern era. From the notes on the COBOL Standards website, there are references to a supposed release targeted for 2008 which were supposed to move it even further forward. I wonder what ever happened to that version. Anyone know? Why did it die on the vine? I know for a fact the group still meets and is working on advancing the language. But why has it remained unpublished? Isn't it about time a new version was announced?
Oh well, I digress.
What I'm most curious about is your company's conformance to a particular COBOL version or published standard. What version do you use? Are there any elements of the 2002 standard that your company uses or conforms to? Or are they tied to a vendor specific version of COBOL like Micro Focus or Acucorp?
A more basic question...Do you know what is in the 2002 edition of the COBOL standard? You can find it at the ISO website just in case you were curious...
And one other question before I finish up on the topic.
If a new version of the standard were to be released on the world, what would it mean to you? To your company? From what I can see, it would be a safe bet that very little discussion would occur around the subject until somone needed to upgrade their compiler.
Kinda like the "if a tree fell in the woods, would it make a sound" question. *smile*
With my limited knowledge of what is being discussed by the group, this may ultimately be a bit of short-sightedness if your company uses COBOL but isn't up on the subject. There may be elements within the standard which would allow your company to save money or do more with the language.