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James Cameron 08-04-2003 02:02 AM

Future reuse of code
 
Hi I'm developing a program and the client is worried about future
reuse of the code. Say 5, 10, 15 years down the road. This will be a
major factor in selecting the development language. Any comments on
past experience, research articles, comments on the matter would be
much appreciated. I suspect something like C would be the best based
on comments I received from the VB news group.

Thanks for the help in advance

James Cameron

E. Robert Tisdale 08-04-2003 02:45 AM

Troll Alert: Future reuse of code
 
James Cameron wrote:

> Hi I'm developing a program and the client is worried about future
> reuse of the code. Say 5, 10, 15 years down the road. This will be a
> major factor in selecting the development language. Any comments on
> past experience, research articles, comments on the matter would be
> much appreciated. I suspect something like C would be the best based
> on comments I received from the VB news group.
>
> Thanks for the help in advance
>
> James Cameron


This question cross posted to five newsgroups appears to pit
C against C++ against Java against Pascal against Visual Basic.
If your intent was to start a flame war, this is the way to do it.


Harald Hein 08-04-2003 04:54 AM

Re: Future reuse of code
 
"James Cameron" wrote:

> I'm developing a program and the client is worried about future
> reuse of the code. Say 5, 10, 15 years down the road.


Tell your customer a lie. No one can predict 5 years, let alone 15 into
the future in this business. If your client asks, he doesn't have much
clue and will be happy with any answer.

A Bag Of Memes 08-04-2003 05:08 AM

Re: Future reuse of code
 

"James Cameron" <james.cameron@bindereng.com.au> wrote in message
news:45ab836a.0308031802.2c9685eb@posting.google.c om...
> Hi I'm developing a program and the client is worried about future
> reuse of the code. Say 5, 10, 15 years down the road. This will be a
> major factor in selecting the development language. Any comments on
> past experience, research articles, comments on the matter would be
> much appreciated. I suspect something like C would be the best based
> on comments I received from the VB news group.
>
> Thanks for the help in advance


Why would language choice affect code reuse? You can reuse code written in
any language as long as you care to.




Mike Wahler 08-04-2003 05:48 AM

Re: Future reuse of code
 

James Cameron <james.cameron@bindereng.com.au> wrote in message
news:45ab836a.0308031802.2c9685eb@posting.google.c om...
> Hi I'm developing a program and the client is worried about future
> reuse of the code. Say 5, 10, 15 years down the road. This will be a
> major factor in selecting the development language. Any comments on
> past experience, research articles, comments on the matter would be
> much appreciated. I suspect something like C would be the best based
> on comments I received from the VB news group.


The language doesn't matter. Just keep the code
in the freezer so it won't spoil.

-Mike




Malcolm 08-04-2003 06:14 AM

Re: Future reuse of code
 

"James Cameron" <james.cameron@bindereng.com.au> wrote in message

> Hi I'm developing a program and the client is worried about future
> reuse of the code. Say 5, 10, 15 years down the road. This will be a
> major factor in selecting the development language.
>

Your best bet is conservative C89.

Why not C++? Because the standard template library is only a few years old.
Things might have changed out of recognition in 15 years time. You will
stillbe able to compile the code, probably, but it will be difficult to
maintain.

C99 may never be implemented.

Java COBOL and Visual Basic I know little about. VB is unstable, COBOL is
virtually obsolete. Java might be an OK choice but is rather tied to the
net. A C file, OTOH, will almost certainly be linkable in ten years time.




John D. 08-04-2003 09:07 AM

Re: Future reuse of code
 
james.cameron@bindereng.com.au (James Cameron) wrote in message news:<45ab836a.0308031802.2c9685eb@posting.google. com>...
> Hi I'm developing a program and the client is worried about future
> reuse of the code. Say 5, 10, 15 years down the road. This will be a
> major factor in selecting the development language. Any comments on
> past experience, research articles, comments on the matter would be
> much appreciated. I suspect something like C would be the best based
> on comments I received from the VB news group.


The best language to ensure future reuse of the code is english.
Whatever programming language you chose always remember to document
your code.

Donald Tees 08-04-2003 10:21 AM

Re: Future reuse of code
 
"Peter E.C. Dashwood" <dashwood@enternet.co.nz> wrote in message
news:3f2e2ad3_6@news.athenanews.com...
>
> "James Cameron" <james.cameron@bindereng.com.au> wrote in message
> news:45ab836a.0308031802.2c9685eb@posting.google.c om...
> > Hi I'm developing a program and the client is worried about future
> > reuse of the code. Say 5, 10, 15 years down the road. This will be a
> > major factor in selecting the development language. Any comments on
> > past experience, research articles, comments on the matter would be
> > much appreciated. I suspect something like C would be the best based
> > on comments I received from the VB news group.
> >

>
> The source language is irrelevant in terms of code re-use. (It is OBJECT
> code that will be re-used...)
>
> You should select a source language SUITABLE FOR THE JOB YOU WANT TO DO!!!
>
> Then make sure that an OO or modular approach is adopted, wrap your
> functions as components, and you can reuse them FOR EVER not just 15

years.
>
> Pete.
>


Aren't you talking about marriage or something? About the *only* code I
know that is still running after 15 years use is in Cobol. I could say the
same for 30 years.

Even in the last five years, the components I have used have evolved into
different packaging, required updates for each OS, etc. etc.

Donald



Paul Barnett 08-04-2003 10:39 AM

Re: Future reuse of code
 

"Malcolm" <malcolm@55bank.freeserve.co.uk> wrote in message
news:bgktdu$n07$1@news8.svr.pol.co.uk...

> ... COBOL is
> virtually obsolete...
>

Hey! Cut that out!

Check out this site: www.microfocus.com



LX-i 08-04-2003 11:13 AM

Re: Future reuse of code
 
James Cameron wrote:
^^^^^^^^^^^^^
You're a great filmmaker - why are you switching to programming? :)

> Hi I'm developing a program and the client is worried about future
> reuse of the code. Say 5, 10, 15 years down the road. This will be a
> major factor in selecting the development language. Any comments on
> past experience, research articles, comments on the matter would be
> much appreciated. I suspect something like C would be the best based
> on comments I received from the VB news group.
>
> Thanks for the help in advance
>
> James Cameron


(I'm a regular poster in comp.lang.cobol)

You really need to have them define what they mean by "code reuse". In
general, if the design of the system is done using components, this
really doesn't have to be an issue. A component could be written in any
number of languages, as long as it adheres to a standard interface (such
as COM).

And, 5 to 15 years down the road, what are they going to be "reusing"?
Seems to me, if they're interested in reuse, they'd use whatever
language you use on this project. At that point, the only decision you
need to make is, what language best supports the business logic you're
trying to automate?

Once you make this decision, structure the system in such a way that it
resembles a collection of building blocks (whether it's broken out by
component, by a collection of common subroutines, copybooks/macros,
whatever). Then, using your rationale for your language choice, and the
modularity design you've chosen, formulate a point paper for your client
detailing why the language you've chosen is the best for their needs,
and how you're posturing them for future code reuse.

Personally, I work on a large aircraft maintenance program for a major
military branch ;) . The system is written in COBOL, and we mostly use
copybooks (similar to macros in C) for our reuse. Each copybook has
comments that define the input parameters expected, and the output one
can expect from it. That way, if the process changes, we change the
copybook. The disadvantage to this technique is that it requires each
program that copies it to be recompiled (rebuilt).

I'm working on a few initiatives to convert this to common subroutines,
that can be modified and "switched out" without having to modify the
underlying programs. This is showing a lot of promise, and I know that
there are other regular posters here who have not only done this
successfully, but have also utilized C, VB, C++, even .NET classes and
components from within COBOL.

Of course, the bottom line - decide what language would be best, then
convince your client of your genius. :)


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