Another (Language) blast from the past
cclist at sydex.com
Thu Sep 13 13:31:19 CDT 2007
On 13 Sep 2007 at 10:56, Chris Kennedy wrote:
> My interactions with it were mercifully brief. I recall that
> diagnostics from the compiler were pretty much limited to printing out
> the offending line followed by a new line and the message "Error above".
> A subsequent version of the compiler had enhanced diagnostics,
> replacing "Error above" with "Error above, eh?"
I suspect that the real thrust of the article is that all the old
flight-control software has gotten very creaky and patched so that
very few people understand the operation in detail. The programming
language is most likely a non-issue. This was (and perhaps still is)
a common pattern in the military and the government.
Perhaps the granddaddy of such boondoggle was the Air Force Logistics
Command's effort back in the 70's to modernize their tracking and
inventory system which was then implemented on some rather creaky
7080's. After hundreds of millions of dollars down the drain,
Senator Proxmire finally threatened contempt of Congress charges at
the general heading up the program and it stopped. The outcome was
that AFLC went back to running their old 7080 code in emulation mode
on, IIRC, S/370 hardware.
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