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The Comp Sci Cobol

Mon Aug 8 10:07:29 EDT 2016

So for the past few weeks, we've had some interesting messages left for us at the Comp Sci Cabal.

Old school COBOL part 1 Old school COBOL part 2 COBOL -- the new hotness Next week

And before I get into dissecting this beautiful piece of whimsy, let me back up for a moment. You see, we have the Cabal meetings in the same room each week. And that room has some convenient whiteboard walls that we typically fill up with type theory, Lisp notation and various tree diagrams. We leave this stuff around for others to read because Dann is entertained by the idea of someone being convinced that we're just writing nonsense on the wall in a very convincing way.

After a couple years of this, someone has apparently decided to try reversing the situation.

GNU COBOL is magic 'Division' procedure 'Division' procedure continued

Now to be fair, these cryptic snippets of Cobol might have been aimed at anyone using the room, rather than us specifically. Until this one.

Next week

Next week

Because convening a weekly group named the "Comp Sci COBOL" a day ahead of the "Comp Sci Cabal" is too much of a coincidence to let slide. So, being that we've been invited to dance, I decided to take a step inwards and reciprocate.

The response

The response

The following week, sadly, saw no change in the usual pattern. Which means my message was unreceived, disregarded or not decoded.

GNU COBOL, node-cobol and m-drone. Also, github URLs More COBOL Next week: Comp Sci Kobolds

Apparently the Comp Sci COBOL/Kobolds meets a day earlier than we do, and presumably discusses various modern uses of COBOL, as well as the plight of the North-Americal Kobold. None of the Cabal members have the time to attend, unfortunately, otherwise we may have made contact by now.

As it stands, we don't know who's behind this, or why1, but we're quite entertained by the effort. This most recent week didn't have a new entry, so the whimsical, COBOL-slinging Kobold has probably moved on to other tasks. For what it's worth, if you're reading this, thank you for the interesting correspondence.


  1. But those Github URLs from week 3 might yet give us some clue, I suppose.


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