Patching vs. new code (was Re: Pascal not considered harmful)
Ian S. King
isking at uw.edu
Wed Mar 4 00:11:54 CST 2015
On Mon, Feb 23, 2015 at 9:40 PM, Chuck Guzis <cclist at sydex.com> wrote:
> On 02/23/2015 09:17 PM, Ian S. King wrote:
> My first (paid) programming job was in 6800 assembler, using the Motorola
>> EXORCISER system. It took hours (as in a major part of a day, longer than
>> the work day) to reassemble the entire code base, so we would patch the
>> program in the PROM programmer. We would, of course, back port the
>> in symbolic assembler to the source, and every few days just take the
>> downtime hit to rebuild the code base. Keep in mind that this was
>> hosted on a 6800 system.
> Well, I *know* that there was a cross-assembler for 6800 code. Even a
> moderately small minicomputer would outpace a 6800.
> Patching is okay, as long as it doesn't become permanent. I have a memory
> of 7080 COBOL production programs patched with Autocoder object. Of
> course, nobody knew exactly what the patches did.
> One of the very good reasons to run legacy programs on emulation.
> I'm certain there are thousands of these stories.
> Yes, a cross-assembler would have run faster and provided better OS
support (!) than the EXORciser, but the Powers That Be hadn't thought of
And patching was accompanied by *hand-written* notes on an "authoritative"
printed listing. Every so often we'd incorporate all the patches back into
the sources and run a new "authoritative" build. Since the EXORciser
monitor didn't spool its output, the printer's speed was the limiting
factor - so a build would take HOURS.
Those were the days…. -- Ian
Ian S. King, MSIS, MSCS, Ph.D. Candidate
The Information School <http://ischool.uw.edu>
Archivist, Voices From the Rwanda Tribunal <http://tribunalvoices.org>
Value Sensitive Design Research Lab <http://vsdesign.org>
University of Washington
There is an old Vulcan saying: "Only Nixon could go to China."
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