Hi Willem,
Yes, in theory you could use any programming language on any platform,
but the reality is at the moment that isn't true. Something like
Visual Basic 6, for example, is 100% specific to Windows. The Visual
Basic runtimes all use the Win32 API and Windows com components. So if
someone really wanted to run a Visual Basic program on something like
Linux or Mac they'd litterally have to write the Visual Basic Runtime
libraries, compiler, etc for that platform from scratch. Hardly a
realistic solution given there are already easier alternatives for
those platforms like Python. I believe there are also some basic
compilers out there for Mac OS and Linux which are not quite so
platform specific. At the moment the only one that I can think of is
KBasic for Linux, which isn't very accessible, but there are probably
others I haven't heard about.
Anyway, as for Cobol definitely not game programming material. When
they drafted the original Cobol standard in 1959 and 1960 they pretty
much decided to make it easy for anyone to read the code such as
supervisors and office managers who weren't necessarily programmers.
As a result the Cobol ansi standard uses a lot of English words like
is, or, and, etc instead of the more common &&, ||, ==, math style
syntax we see in C++, Java, and so forth.As a result it takes a lot
mor coding to write anything in Cobol because you have to write it
with a lot of words and even terminate a statement with a period. It
is really rediculously verbose compared to most modern programming
languages.
 Then, as I said in my prier post Cobol is pretty application
specific. All of the keywords and functions are focused on keeping
track of records and reports. Typical boring business related stuff.
Nothing that would lend itself to game programming. Especially, since,
as you pointed out, no game APIs for the language.
However, that could be changing. I know one of the revisions for 2010
for Cobol is a new Cobol standard based on the Microsoft .Net API. If
that is true then you would have access to the Microsoft .Net
Framework as well as .Net based game APIs like SDL .Net, SFML .Net,
and SlimDX. So who knows what Cobol could be like in the not too
distant future.

Cheers!


On 9/1/10, Willem <dwill...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi Thomas and all.
>
> One thing I might add is that programmers use what they are comfortable
> with. Things like portability and a usable sintax  will influence the
> decision, but in theory any language can be run on any platform.
>
> Cobol is an old language with a very readable sintax. It uses english words,
> which complecate explaining things to the computer. Few people not in
> businesses with mainframes learn it these days, because of alternatives like
> java, c++ and python, which improved on the mistakes made by people a few
> decades ago.
>
> For games, it makes no sense programming a big game in cobol, because no
> sound api or functions to use the necisary devices exist.
>
> As for languages outputting text, aside from the format it is stored in,
> some just have more functionality. All it basically does is process data and
> instead of printing it to the screen, like (you are now using 80% of your
> capacity) it might just create an entry in a database. Many companies have
> swiched over to java, because it gives about the same amount of
> functionality.

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