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ammar
02-18-2003, 04:35 AM
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!

adrianxw
02-18-2003, 07:07 AM
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.

blitzkrieg
02-18-2003, 06:09 PM
i have heard that mainframes never crash as many servers do !!!

Hammer
02-18-2003, 06:34 PM
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. :D

dP munky
02-18-2003, 07:03 PM
>>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??

Hammer
02-18-2003, 07:37 PM
>>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.

MethodMan
02-18-2003, 08:16 PM
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..

dP munky
02-18-2003, 09:57 PM
>>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

KrAzY CrAb
02-18-2003, 10:46 PM
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!

dP munky
02-18-2003, 11:09 PM
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

KrAzY CrAb
02-18-2003, 11:17 PM
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)

adrianxw
02-19-2003, 02:38 AM
If someone drags up the "binary is not a language" argument again, I will close this.

dP munky
02-19-2003, 03:02 AM
>>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
Binary (http://www.cprogramming.com/cboard/showthread.php?s=&threadid=33198&highlight=binary+a+language)

adrianxw
02-19-2003, 05:47 AM
>>> 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.

Shiro
02-19-2003, 11:58 AM
>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.

adrianxw
02-19-2003, 12:38 PM
>>> so we should convince them in some way modernisation is needed.

It is that, that is the real problem. The IT industry has a habit of promising a lot and failing to deliver. We know why, (customers don't know what they want, requirements added ad hoc, etc. etc.), but those that are the paying customer, (internal or external), will not accept that it is their fault. To a certain extent, they are right, they would not, within their own disciplines, tolerate the kind of cost/time overruns that routinely go with large IT projects.

KrAzY CrAb
02-19-2003, 01:06 PM
I have used COBOL for limited time and only a few little things, but its not a hard language, its not a bad language, certain things I made in C were easier to write and faster to run when I ported them to COBOL but, thats because they have different purposes the things they have built it are for two different thing, although people say C is the super language it can do anything, its a lie, I dont want to get into that though. no upgrading from COBOL is a good idea, its a good language.

dP munky
02-19-2003, 04:44 PM
im not saying cobol's a hard language, its just my opinion that upgrading would be worth it, i had to learn it in high school and i felt that it slowed me down because its not as widely used at least not in what i want to do, and theres limits to what it can do, i understand a lot of banks and accounting software is built on it but i just thought it would be better if it was upgraded.

Greazy
02-19-2003, 07:48 PM
ammar you theif, give me back my name!

Shiro
02-20-2003, 12:23 PM
i had to learn it in high school and i felt that it slowed me down because its not as widely used at least not in what i want to do, and theres limits to what it can do, i understand a lot of banks and accounting software is built on it but i just thought it would be better if it was upgraded.


Yes, it has limits to what it can do. A lot of languages have such limits, the reason is that a lot of languages were designed for specific tasks. Languages like C and C++ are often called general purpose languages, languages which can be used for a wide range of applications. I think Cobol is one of those other languages, which are good at a specific task, but useless for other tasks.