OT: Language for the ages
cclist at sydex.com
Tue Oct 18 23:36:09 CDT 2005
On 10/18/2005 at 11:32 PM infomagic wrote:
>But in the stated problem there are larger issues that have mostly gone by
All excellent points, John.
There are some areas of the business world where 20 year longevity is not
unusual. Defense for one (did you know that PDP-8-based equipment is still
used in servicing C-130's, for example?) Another is civilian nuclear.
In this case, we're dealing with an outfit that manufactures plumbing items
for nuclear reactors. Basically a foundry and machining operation, the
software in question is used to determine parameters for a given customer's
design. There's no direct connection with manufacturing equipment on the
factory floor. It's a pretty sure bet that if they go out of business,
they'll be acquired by another nuclear-involved firm. After all, the
government oversees this business at some level.
I believe I've answered the problem for myself--and it hearkens back to an
earlier observation that I made.
My answer to the customer is that we'll document the formulae, algorithms
and tables involved in his software--on paper. We'll then give the
customer the option of running what he has under emulation--or we can
recode it for a bit more portability--at least for now. FORTRAN wouldn't
be a bad solution in this case, but if he wants C or BASIC or Smalltalk, he
can have it. It won't have a significant effect when it comes to having
the basic operating parameters available for re-implemntation.
At least that's what we're thinking now.
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