Feeds

Cobol hits fifty

DISPLAY "Happy Birthday" LINE 15 POSITION 10.

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

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. ®

Seven Steps to Software Security

More from The Register

next story
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.