Language for the ages

Gil Carrick gilcarrick at
Fri Oct 14 23:06:25 CDT 2005

> 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 
> obsolescence, 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.

COBOL. I once wrote a spelling checker in COBOL. Call me crazy, but I was
making $10,000 a month in the mid '80s with that package. Unfortunately the
hardware vendor killed the product & I had to get an honest job.

Also, see this article "Is COBOL the 18-Wheeler of the Web?",1759,1237807,00.asp


More information about the cctalk mailing list