Happy Birthday COBOL

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by Lawrence D'Oliveiro, May 29, 2009.

  1. Turns 50 today <http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/05/28/cobol_fifty/>.
     
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, May 29, 2009
    #1
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  2. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    Matty F Guest

    On May 29, 2:16 pm, Lawrence D'Oliveiro <l...@geek-
    central.gen.new_zealand> wrote:
    > Turns 50 today <http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/05/28/cobol_fifty/>.


    I've been told that my 35 year old COBOL programs for a major
    Australasian company are still running fine. Why change them? They are
    bug free :)
     
    Matty F, May 29, 2009
    #2
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  3. In message <gvngij$cm2$>, Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:

    > Turns 50 today <http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/05/28/cobol_fifty/>.


    And yes, there really is a Cobol Road in Cardiff
    <http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&sll=37.788081,-95.712891&sspn=49.570133,62.753906&ie=UTF8&ll=51.527703,-3.08321&spn=0.004833,0.011222&t=h&z=17>.
     
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, May 29, 2009
    #3
  4. In message <cd4b1569-d367-4644-
    >, Matty F wrote:

    > I've been told that my 35 year old COBOL programs for a major
    > Australasian company are still running fine. Why change them? They are
    > bug free :)


    Fred Brooks in his classic book described what happened with certain large
    and complex programs, which had grown to the point that every bug fix or
    feature enhancement you tried to add to them would break something somewhere
    else, so it was essentially impossible to make any net improvement to them.
     
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, May 29, 2009
    #4
  5. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    Matty F Guest

    On May 29, 10:52 pm, Lawrence D'Oliveiro <l...@geek-
    central.gen.new_zealand> wrote:
    > In message <cd4b1569-d367-4644-
    >
    > >, Matty F wrote:
    > > I've been told that my 35 year old COBOL programs for a major
    > > Australasian company are still running fine. Why change them? They are
    > > bug free :)

    >
    > Fred Brooks in his classic book described what happened with certain large
    > and complex programs, which had grown to the point that every bug fix or
    > feature enhancement you tried to add to them would break something somewhere
    > else, so it was essentially impossible to make any net improvement to them.


    One program was a stock picking and distribution system, based on
    several year's sales, special promotions etc. The rules were complex
    but even a non-COBOL programmer would be able to change the code if
    necessary.
    The other was a COBOL compiler that could almost compile itself!
     
    Matty F, May 30, 2009
    #5
  6. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    Enkidu Guest

    Matty F wrote:
    >
    > The other was a COBOL compiler that could almost compile itself!
    >

    That's not that surprising. Most compilers can compile themselves.

    Cheers,

    Cliff

    --

    The Internet is interesting in that although the nicknames may change,
    the same old personalities show through.
     
    Enkidu, May 30, 2009
    #6
  7. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    Matty F Guest

    On May 30, 1:42 pm, Enkidu <> wrote:
    > Matty F wrote:
    >
    > >> The other was a COBOL compiler that could almost compile itself!

    >
    > >

    > That's not that surprising. Most compilers can compile themselves.


    But COBOL would not be the language of choice to write a compiler.
    Unless as in this case, there were no other languages available.
     
    Matty F, May 30, 2009
    #7
  8. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    Enkidu Guest

    Matty F wrote:
    > On May 30, 1:42 pm, Enkidu <> wrote:
    >> Matty F wrote:
    >>
    >> >> The other was a COBOL compiler that could almost compile itself!

    >>
    >> >

    >> That's not that surprising. Most compilers can compile themselves.

    >
    > But COBOL would not be the language of choice to write a compiler.
    > Unless as in this case, there were no other languages available.
    >

    Don't know why not. COBOL is not that bad at strings and number
    crunching. I read somewhere that the Fortran compiler was written in a
    dialect of Fortran and the APL interpreter was written in APL (though
    obviously that had to be bootstrapped).

    Cheers,

    Cliff

    --

    The Internet is interesting in that although the nicknames may change,
    the same old personalities show through.
     
    Enkidu, May 30, 2009
    #8
  9. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    Nik Coughlin Guest

    "Lawrence D'Oliveiro" <_zealand> wrote in message
    news:gvo0ha$lsf$...
    > In message <gvngij$cm2$>, Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:
    >
    >> Turns 50 today <http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/05/28/cobol_fifty/>.

    >
    > And yes, there really is a Cobol Road in Cardiff
    > <http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&sll=37.788081,-95.712891&sspn=49.570133,62.753906&ie=UTF8&ll=51.527703,-3.08321&spn=0.004833,0.011222&t=h&z=17>.


    As well as a Fortran Road and a Pascal Close :)
     
    Nik Coughlin, Jun 1, 2009
    #9
  10. In message <gvv93n$84c$-september.org>, Nik Coughlin wrote:

    > "Lawrence D'Oliveiro" <_zealand> wrote in message
    > news:gvo0ha$lsf$...
    >
    >> In message <gvngij$cm2$>, Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:
    >>
    >>> Turns 50 today <http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/05/28/cobol_fifty/>.

    >>
    >> And yes, there really is a Cobol Road in Cardiff
    >>

    <http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&sll=37.788081,-95.712891&sspn=49.570133,62.753906&ie=UTF8&ll=51.527703,-3.08321&spn=0.004833,0.011222&t=h&z=17>.
    >
    > As well as a Fortran Road and a Pascal Close :)


    Couldn't find Pascal Close, though.
     
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Jun 1, 2009
    #10
  11. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    Nik Coughlin Guest

    "Lawrence D'Oliveiro" <_zealand> wrote in message
    news:gvvmtk$7ei$...
    > In message <gvv93n$84c$-september.org>, Nik Coughlin wrote:
    >
    >> "Lawrence D'Oliveiro" <_zealand> wrote in message
    >> news:gvo0ha$lsf$...
    >>
    >>> In message <gvngij$cm2$>, Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:
    >>>
    >>>> Turns 50 today <http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/05/28/cobol_fifty/>.
    >>>
    >>> And yes, there really is a Cobol Road in Cardiff
    >>>

    > <http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&sll=37.788081,-95.712891&sspn=49.570133,62.753906&ie=UTF8&ll=51.527703,-3.08321&spn=0.004833,0.011222&t=h&z=17>.
    >>
    >> As well as a Fortran Road and a Pascal Close :)

    >
    > Couldn't find Pascal Close, though.
    >


    From Cobol Rd turn left onto Fortran Rd (doesn't matter which end of Cobol
    Rd, you'll end up at the same place) and follow it to Fountain Ln. Go down
    Fountain Ln and when you get to the end you're at Pascal Close.
     
    Nik Coughlin, Jun 1, 2009
    #11
  12. In message <h01k73$6rs$-september.org>, Nik Coughlin wrote:

    > From Cobol Rd turn left onto Fortran Rd (doesn't matter which end of Cobol
    > Rd, you'll end up at the same place) and follow it to Fountain Ln. Go
    > down Fountain Ln and when you get to the end you're at Pascal Close.


    Found it
    <http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&ie=UTF8&t=h&ll=51.530049,-3.08873&spn=0.002416,0.00383&z=18>!

    Or "them", more like...
     
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Jun 2, 2009
    #12
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