Bill Gunshannon bill.gunshannon at hotmail.com
Wed Jan 20 11:16:23 CST 2021

On 1/20/21 1:01 AM, Eric Smith via cctalk wrote:
> On Fri, Jan 15, 2021 at 4:41 PM Fred Cisin via cctalk <cctalk at classiccmp.org>
> wrote:
>> A viewpoint opposed to mine:
>> "The use of COBOL cripples the mind; its teaching should, therefore, be
>> regarded as a criminal offense."  - Edsger Dijkstra
> As much as I generally highly respect Dijkstra, I agree with Fred, not
> Dijkstra, on this one. 

After reading many of Dijkstra's one liners I find I don't like
him or his opinions at all.

>                           COBOL was a remarkably good language for the problem
> domain for which it was intended. As with all tools, it is less good for
> other problem domains.

COBOL came from a time when most languages were domain specific. It
is sad that things like efficiency and proper design have been abandoned
in favor of general purpose languages and solutions.

> Learning and using any programming language will cause some language
> specific habits to become ingrained, and you may have to "unlearn" some
> when you learn a new language. That doesn't necessarily make either
> language bad.

Learning many different paradigms makes it easier to and more
likely that you will choose the right tool for the job.  In
the world of general purpose languages all you have is a hammer
and so all tasks look like nails.


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