* Posts by Leigh

1 post • joined 30 May 2009

Cobol hits fifty


COBOL – Why?

I'm an OS bits'n'bites developer with code that's touched you. If I had to write a business application, I'd beg you to shoot me.


I want to take a moment to point out why Cobol lives on.

Why? Why defend a language I've never programmed in?

(a) Because I developed compilers and

(b) Because as head of IT, I'm responsible for reliability.

My compiler development background gave me a peek inside Cobol. Unlike C and most other popular languages, Cobol (especially object Cobol) has several features that make it unmatched in reliability and precision. Written correctly, Cobol programs won't experience the data reliability and decimal rounding errors found in other languages which require extensive work-arounds.

Cobol is like a dowager– stolid, solid, unattractive, robust but reliable. C/C++ is like Britney Spears– cute, sexy, high-maintenance, flaky as hell, and goes down at a moment's notice.

As a software developer, I agree Cobol isn't sexy and thank God I'm not the one who has to use it. But as head of IT development, I'm grateful for its reliability.


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