Cobol

This is a discussion on Cobol within the A Brief History of Cprogramming.com forums, part of the Community Boards category; I was searching for some information about the COBOL programming language, when I say this page and I was surprised ...

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    Just a Member ammar's Avatar
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    Cobol

    I was searching for some information about the COBOL programming language, when I say this page and I was surprised by the numbers that said:
    In 1999 they reported that over 50% of all new mission-critical applications were still being done in COBOL and their recent estimates indicate that through 2004-2005 15% of all new applications (5 billion lines) will be developed in COBOL while 80% of all deployed applications will include extensions to existing legacy (usually COBOL) programs.
    Is COBOL that popular!
    none...

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    It's full of stars adrianxw's Avatar
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    You don't quote your source so it is difficult to comment really.

    I would say that it is probably true that more than half of mainframe development is still done with COBOL, and it does tend to be mission critical. However, I would doubt that 50% of all , (i.e. including non mainframe systems), mission critical new development software is done with COBOL.

    Patching up legacy systems to changing legislation/demands has always been big business, and there are an awful lot of legacy systems out there. They are there because they work, and the potential risk costs of replacing them before it is absolutely necessary outweigh any perceived benefits from newer technologies.
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    i have heard that mainframes never crash as many servers do !!!

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    Originally posted by blitzkrieg
    i have heard that mainframes never crash as many servers do !!!
    They do crash, but not as often. Their architecture handles application crashes in a much more controlled manner, meaning only a limited amount of damage occurs.

    You can't have 100 programmers writing and testing their programs on the same machine, and have to IPL it every 10 minutes because some noob can't code properly.
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    cereal killer dP munky's Avatar
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    >>COBOL

    Completely Obsolete Boring Old Language

    40 years, they celebrated the 40 year anniversary of COBOL about 2 years ago(im pretty sure) why not replace it??
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    >>why not replace it??
    Money. How much do you think it would cost a large mainframe based company to rewrite its systems simply because there's another language that'll do the same thing?

    Who would pay, the company itself or their clients? Certainly not the later, the clients don't care what language an application is written in, providing it does what it's supposed to. Hundreds of thousands of man hours to do a language change is not an easy one to cost justify.
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    I am learning COBOL this semester as part of a business class. They want us to get a feel for it since it is used quite a bit still. And I thought it was ancients stuff..
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    cereal killer dP munky's Avatar
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    >>And I thought it was ancients stuff..

    it is, thats why i think it would be more efficient if it was replaced, i know the cost would be high, but it would be cheaper to maintain because you wouldnt have to have a cobol programmer come in there to fix stuff and literally debug the thing
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    Originally posted by dP munky
    >>COBOL

    Completely Obsolete Boring Old Language

    40 years, they celebrated the 40 year anniversary of COBOL about 2 years ago(im pretty sure) why not replace it??
    Thats like saying lets get rid of ASM!
    "...since anyone who is anyone knows C..." -Peter Cellik

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    cereal killer dP munky's Avatar
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    no its not, its like saying get rid of java or something like that, there is no other way to communicate w/a cpu other than asm (not that i know of anyway) replacing cobol w/another language would make it more efficient, i would think would be more benificial to a company to have something newer that they wouldnt need a specialized programmer that knows cobol to fix problems

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    binary (the only true language!) was around years and years before asm, thats hwy you need an assembler, its not actually what the computer sees! so you CAN fet rid of asm and replace, so saying you should get rid of cobol/replce it is jsut plain stupid really, it has a set purpose (its bet than ANY C variant for certain things)
    "...since anyone who is anyone knows C..." -Peter Cellik

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    It's full of stars adrianxw's Avatar
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    If someone drags up the "binary is not a language" argument again, I will close this.
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    >>cobol/replce it is jsut plain stupid really, it has a set purpose

    why not, no one has told me any reason to keep it around other than just becuase its stupid? does not efficiency replace the old ways of cobol

    argument, i didnt know it was an argument, it either is or...it isnt
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    Last edited by dP munky; 02-19-2003 at 02:09 AM.
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    It's full of stars adrianxw's Avatar
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    >>> does not efficiency replace the old ways of cobol

    Well as so many people are still using it the answer is obviously "no".

    If I had a working system that was adequately running my billion dollar currency futures dealing system, why should I change it to something that "the software guys" say will be better? After all, I know well that almost every new software system delivered is full of holes, will never perform as promised, will fall over at the drop of a hat, will cost 4 times as much as projected, will be at least 2 years late, will require almost monthly hardware/software upgrades and will have me begging for my old system back within weeks.

    That is the view of the IT department by many non-IT departments.

    >>> it either is or...it isnt

    Exactly, people take contrary views on a subject and a heated debate follows - i.e. an "argument". The argument has been heard several times on the board before, each time degenerating into a flame war when in fact, the combatants are merely arguing over simple semantics, but have got so entrenched that they are unable to see this. I will not have the "debate" on here again.
    Wave upon wave of demented avengers march cheerfully out of obscurity unto the dream.

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    >replacing cobol w/another language would make it more
    >efficient, i would think would be more benificial to a company to
    >have something newer that they wouldnt need a specialized
    >programmer that knows cobol to fix problems

    Why would it make it more efficient? I don't know about Cobol, but I think if you have a good Cobol-compiler, then the program might be quite efficient.

    Specialisation is something that always will be. Each language is a specialisation. If you need to maintain C software, then you need a programmer who knows about C. Currently a lot of programmers know C since it is currently one of the most popular languages. I think in about 10(?) years C programmers will be called specialised and old. When looking at what most computer science students currently learn, I see it is mainly Java and C++.

    The bussiness people should learn that languages don't stay forever and they have to invest in modernisation of their systems. But I know they usually think: it works, so why change it? On the other hand, programming isn't their job, it is ours, so we should convince them in some way modernisation is needed.

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