Remember Cobol TRACE

Was just watching one of Paul’s videos about troubleshooting from one of the Xojo conferences. He asked the audience, with tongue in cheek I presume, if they knew Xojo had a debugger. Just made me think back to debugging old COBOL programs. Remember core dumps and translating Hex to figure out where in your program the problem occurred. And remember TRACE that just listed the line numbers (paragraph labels if I remember right) as the program executed. You’d get a box of green bar just find the contents of a field and which line caused the problem.

Man, those were the days…

Well 30 years ago in the late 80ies I still remember my Watch (ASCII) Window in Turbo-BASIC and Turbo-Pascal. I could set Stop-Values for variables and the Debugger would stop when this value is reached. I am missing this function a lot since then, never saw it again…

I never worked with that environment much. I was IBM Mainframe, Cobol, CICS, DB/2, EBCDIC, Hexadecimal, etc… You submitted a test run for a program and it ran until it either crashed or finished normally.

I still have my old IBM System/360 Reference Card - affectionately know as the “Green Card” although at some point they changed to yellow, we still called them green cards.

In the late 70s I went to work at a very small shop as the programming supervisor. The first thing I did to piss of the operations department was to make them quit aborting core dumps as soon as they started. Seems nobody knew how to use it to figure out what statement caused the crash and to use the addresses to figure out the contents of a variable. They were mad because the dumps used so much paper but they finally got used to it and learned how valuable the stuff was if you knew how to use it.

When I learned COBOL at the Chubb Institute for Computer Technology in Short Hills, NJ in 1979, they referred to them at “Yellow Cards”. But, at the job I got as a result of the 6 month course, they gave us copies of the same card, but they were blue. I suppose what you call them could be the way to tell how much experience you have. :slight_smile:

Never saw blue ones. But I agree, what we call them does show our age.