Jim I agree with all but saying that COBOL has "no real EOF function" it
sure does! The practise came about when folks were looking for a logical
end of something versus a physical EOF. Most places I have been in the
past used something unrelated to data to accomplish this, for instance
the end of a sequence would be indicated by the COBOL concept of either
HIGH VALUES or UPPERBOUNDS or if the data was complimented, LOW VALUES
or LOWERBOUNDS. In certain situations either could yield a date value
(if one were with the scope of the logical series) of 9/9/99 but this
was usually discovered the first time the date edit was done. HIGH / LOW
values on most machines are FF (Foxes) and 00 (Nulls) respectivly, UPPER
and LOWER bounds usually take tier que from the field being addressed
eg.. if a field were AN, UPPERBOUNDS would be ZZZZZ, if numeric, 99999
etc. LOWER AAAA and 000 respectivly.

As for EOF, any sequential read of a file in COBOL be it native, VSAM,
DB/2 or whatever will return and EOF indicator of some sort that simple
needs to be tested.

Jim Langston wrote:
> 
> >From all the discussion I've heard on it, that was a common practice in
> COBOL programs as COBOL has no real EOF function (or didn't anyway).
> 
> I understand COBOL programmers are concerned about it, but most poeple
> who program for the AS/400 use RPG and it's not an issue in RPG.
> 
> If you looked at some AS/400 COBOL sites I bet that's all they're
> talking
> about.
> 
> Regards,
> 
> Jim Langston
> 
> Bill Meecham wrote:
> 
> > A few places that I worked at used 9/9/99 to mean the end of time.
> > Was this a very common practice or was I just lucky enough to work at
> > a disproportionate sample?  If it is common, the end of time is this
> > month, is anyone on this list worried about it? Bill
> 
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