AA-01. * A HORRIBLY VERBOSE PROGRAMMING LANGUAGE * THAT PROBABLY NEVER SHOULD HAVE BEEN * INVENTED. THERE ARE MILLIONS OF * LINES OF THIS GARBAGE STILL IN USE. * * THE ONLY GOOD THING ABOUT COBOL WAS THAT * IT STOPPED BAD PROGRAMMERS BEING REALLY * AWFUL PROGRAMMERS. * * HOWEVER, COBOL CAN BE FOUND AT THE MAINFRAME * OF YOUR FAVORITE BANK. THE 60'S STRIKE AGAIN. * * NOW, ADD 1 TO COBOL GIVING COBOL, PLEASE, . * DEAR COMPUTER, AND RETURN THE RESULT (S0C7) * AT MORNING. * * THERE IS NO CABAL. PERFORM IMMORAL-ACTS UNTIL POLICE ARRIVE. DIVIDE CAKE INTO MANY-PIECES YIELDING BIRTHDAY-PARTY. EVALUATE TRUE WHEN CAKE NOT = 1 OR 3 OR 5 OR 7 OR (MOON-PHASE NUMERIC) MOVE CORRESPONDING MANY-PIECES TO MANY-MOUTHS WHEN OTHER EXEC CICS LINK PROGRAM ('TOAST') COMMAREA (RUM-BOTTLE) LENGTH (ONE-GLASS) END-EXEC. * EAT THAT, MISERABLE MAINTENANCE PROGRAMMER!!! IF DRUNK-FLAG INSPECT STOMACH REPLACING ALL LOW-VALUES BY ZEROES IF STOMACH > ZERO NEXT SENTENCE ELSE GOTO A99. GOTO AA-Z23X. AA-Z23X. PERFORM AA-01 THRU AA-Z23X UNTIL WORLD-SPIN-SPEED > 5 GOBACK. AA-99. MOVE RANDOM TO RETURN CODE STOP RUN. *END OF PROGRAM (REST IN PIECE, PLEASE) END PROGRAM COBOL.
Why it's bad
Cobol is the only language known to be invented by a single female without male input.
This might be the reason it's the worst computer language since Microsoft went along with ClippyScript, as well as the fact she was working for the military so could only program during her period (which is why this language is devoid of them).
Other atrocities from the same creator include the Saddam Hussein gym teacher degree, the Pope's reality-proof filtered internet, and Oscar Wilde misquotations.
An old-style COBOL program with liberal use of GOTO, REDEFINE and misleadingly indented multi-levels IF / THEN can provide days of fun for a team of experienced maintenance programmers.
COBOL was born in the Legendary days of punch cards, and it shows in some little details. For example, comments are denoted by a '*' in the seventh column.
See also JCL, which is the preferred way of SUBMITting venerable mainframe COBOL programs, uphill both ways in the snow. Now get off my lawn.