OT: Language for the ages

Roger Merchberger zmerch at 30below.com
Fri Oct 14 13:36:29 CDT 2005

Rumor has it that Chuck Guzis may have mentioned these words:
>Here's an interesting problem.
>Suppose you wanted to write an application for a manufacturing process that
>will, in all probability, run for the next 30 years.  No direct control of
>the process itself is entailed (i.e., you don't need the program to
>operation valves or run motors), but you do need this program to compute
>manufacturing parameters for each customer.  I/O requirements are very
>modest, mostly simple keyboard and display.
>What would you write it in?  Clearly, you'd want to be independent of a
>particular software vendor, so the likes of Visual BASIC isn't an option.
>You'd also want to write in a language that isn't nearing obsolesence, nor
>one that's still evolving.  "Niche" languages would be out of the question,
>as longevity could be a problem.
>So what would it be?   My vote is for FORTRAN.


Forth. Runs on everything from a Tandy Model 100/102/200 (Heck, even some 
word processors!) to new shiznit, extensible, and rather nearly 
cross-platform. And, it's ontopic.

If for some inane reason, Forth isn't a contender, then I'd pick Perl 
4.0.x. It's stable, still being used, and runs on equipment as old as an 
Atari ST. And, I *think* it's ontopic. If not, it's really close.

Neither of those an option? Python. When in doubt, Python wins. If it 
doesn't, then I'll change the rules by then. I *like* Python. ;-) It's not 
on-topic, but I don't care - I'm changing the rules, remember? ;-)

Roger "Merch" Merchberger

Roger "Merch" Merchberger   | A new truth in advertising slogan
SysAdmin, Iceberg Computers | for MicroSoft: "We're not the oxy...
zmerch at 30below.com          |                         ...in oxymoron!"

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