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> > My point was not that the investment in COBOL is a recent phenomenon,
> > but that it's continuing -- COBOL didn't die in the 80s. There are about 2
> > million COBOL programmers versus 3 million Java and 300,000 Perl.
> Where are those numbers from, Ken?
The Java number was from an IDC report, the COBOL figure from a Gartner report
Information Week published a different figure in May 2003. It forecast the
number of Java programmers would equal the number of COBOL programmers by 2004.
> prefers to forget the 100,000 or so lines of COBOL
Some people chose COBOL but more often it was simply a mandate. Large
corporations, government programs and ISVs working on multi-platform products
were the largest adopters, but I remember one ISV converting a COBOL
bill-of-materials application to 8-bit micros running CP/M.
At the other end of the spectrum was a friend's experience with Y2K remediation
at a large energy company. For taxes alone, she had programmers working on 1500
In twenty years, this thread will probably be something like this:
"Our systems are so old, we still have XML documents and parsers."
"That's nothing -- we have COBOL programs."
* Slides with statistics about market share, adoption of various languages,
J2EE, .NET, bio-cybernetics, application servers, and other technologies: