Feeds

Cobol hits fifty

DISPLAY "Happy Birthday" LINE 15 POSITION 10.

The essential guide to IT transformation

Cobol, the venerable computer language so beloved of Y2K-fearing businesses, has hit 50 years young today, having been invented on the 28th of May 1959 at a meeting of the Short Range Committee at the Pentagon.

The news comes from Cobol specialists Micro Focus, which tells us that there are two hundred times as many Cobol transactions as there are Google searches every day, and that in the UK we all use Cobol-powered applications ten times daily on average.

Those figures come largely from mobile phone use, with Cobol still lurking inside the systems of most network operators. Anyone using a cashpoint or booking a holiday is probably also touching some of the two hundred billion lines of code in use (and counting).

The continuing popularity of Cobol can be attributed to the fact that it just works. That and the fact that a whole generation of programmers refuse to learn anything more modern, and support for legacy systems demands that everyone continues to use a language that really should have been put down years ago.

Whatever the reason, Micro Focus is hosting some videos and history of Cobol, which will keep ageing BOFHs misty eyed while we wait ten years for the really important anniversary - 50 years of Pascal. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft boots 1,500 dodgy apps from the Windows Store
DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! Naughty, misleading developers!
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies
You can try turning them off and on again
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.