COBOL - Built to Last
In this sense, COBOL and its scapegoating show us an important aspect of high tech that few in Silicon Valley, or in government, seem to understand. Older systems have value, and constantly building new technological systems for short-term profit at the expense of existing infrastructure is not progress. In fact, it is among the most regressive paths a society can take.
@neauoire AFAIK it's also quite unique to informatics because in other engeneering fields, with all the pros and cons of the case, standard tools change much more slowly.
@neauoire My sole COBOL anecdote.
One day, i was in the street walking downtown with a friend, and during our conversation about tech jobs and stuff, i said "If you wanna work in banks, you have to learn COBOL!". Not seriously though, because i didn't really know what i was talking about. I just heard that many banking systems still run with COBOL.
But there was in the middle of the crowd, an eighty years-old woman with her husband who turned around and said to us "You're totally right".
@neauoire Wow, this was a wonderful article! It's so rare to find other folx who see programming this way :o
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@neauoire Interesting to see COBOL be called a "problem oriented language", which is also what Chuck Moore said Forth was aiming to be.
@neauoire Much of this argument also goes for legacy Fortran code, only within a scientific context rather than a business context.
@neauoire super interesting article, thanks for sharing! The best bits for me where the ones about social dynamics of programming language camps and the critique to the new and shiny (the very thing quoted in your toot) 📜
@neauoire interesting article, but there are some things that it avoid to say, like that COBOL programs run only on really big and pricey mainframe systems maintained by big companies like IBM, who blackmails customers making them pay more and more to have that legacy system running. It's not about the language, it's about the infrastructure.
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