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this is interesting stuff and matches my own experience working in a very
large company. What irks me most is a high and mighty attitude from the
Java/.NET/Siebel/SAP/etc brigade towards 'card-wallopers'. The mainframe
guys i know tend to be very good and have a experience of building very
large scale critical systems often way beyond the experience of the vast
majority of today's commercial programmers.
As hard as companies try to move data onto 'packages' they still find COBOL
running the business. I've spent the last 5 or so years helping to migrate
COBOL interfaces into XML, SOAP and then WSDL precisely because of this.
What has enabled this to happen is the programming skills of my mainframe
colleagues who wrote an efficient SOAP/XML module in COBOL for an existing
in-house middleware framework - something thought by many to be simply
I note from your figures that Java is the new COBOL, which makes me happy
to remain a Perl & Python hacker :-)
From: Ken North [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: 14 May 2004 21:41
Subject: Re: [xml-dev] XML moves COBOL into the .NET and J2EE arenas
<< there is more than a sizable investment in COBOL prior to recent years.
My point was not that the investment in COBOL is a recent phenomenon, but
it's continuing -- COBOL didn't die in the 80s. There are about 2 million
programmers versus 3 million Java and 300,000 Perl.
The reason why we still have 200 billion lines of COBOL running today is
standardization and portability. Before the UCSD p-system, ANSI C, and the
VM, COBOL was a favored solution for writing code for multiple platforms.
<< watching where COBOL goes is actually a proxy for listening to the
It's also an indicator that organizations will commit (long term) to
vendor-neutral technologies based on standards.
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