[Pharo-project] Cobol is the new language to know?
csrabak at bol.com.br
csrabak at bol.com.br
Mon Feb 21 22:51:01 CET 2011
Em 21/02/2011 18:05, Casimiro de Almeida Barreto < casimiro.barreto at gmail.com > escreveu:
> Em 21-02-2011 16:07, csrabak at bol.com.br escreveu:
> > Geert,
> > I'll use my consultant's hat to contribute on this. My company
> > lives from selling advice on these matters.
> > Notice that in the table of the referred link:
> > http://www.theaustralian.com.au/australian-it/legacy-languages-prove-lucractive-for-dying-breed-of-programmers/story-e6frgakx-1225993874788
> > which you point to, Cobol and Smalltalk share the same status of
> > "Retire Now".
> > So the Channel Register interpretation of the reports has not been
> > that sharp at all. Also, the company issuing the report is an
> > Aussie centered firm, as the problems we're facing in the
> > companies around the world (in the mainframe) is more what to do
> > with the Natural/Adabas platform, where Natural is a higher level
> > language than Cobol but has a high impedance for conversion to
> > Java (w/o opening the can of worms of running Java in mainframes).
> > The FUD about Smalltalk going to become unsupported must be
> > counteracted by the pertinent Organizations, like ESUG in Europe
> > and STIC, and of course the Software companies themselves like VW
> > and Instantiations. When I worked at Gartner, they had a similar
> > table which included Smalltalk in the doom-way in "five years"
> > ca. Y2K and recently they changed their mind a little bit:
> > http://blogs.gartner.com/mark_driver/2008/10/09/remember-smalltalk/
> > and
> > http://news.squeak.org/2008/10/11/smalltalk-is-cool-again-says-gartner/
> > (just a sample, Google is your friend if you're really
> > interested).
> > OTOH, notice that another Research company whose business is
> > selling 'insight' says something about the primadonna du jour:
> > http://www.cincomsmalltalk.com/main/2010/12/java-is-a-dead-end-for-enterprise-app-development/
> > HTH
> > -- Cesar Rabak
> Thing about these tales of "dying languages" & stuff like that is
> that it's really hard to avoid conflicting interests while judging
> I remember the golden age of Microsoft and its happy marriage with
> Intel, when companies (Gartner included) hammered execs minds with
> the TOC mantra (Microsoft as opposed to Unix/Linux - OSX not
I think you mean "TCO" here ;-)
> available at that time & Apple starving of Jobs). Following that
> line of reasoning, by now Oracle would be history, Linux would be
> history and Apple would be the only thing preventing Microsoft
> running into anti-trust laws. Obviously history unrolled different
>From a point of view of corporate IT, Apple _is_ history and Linux is
only present in appliances. No tsunami happened in the server
industry that shakes Microsoft dominance... In fact, Linux was the
great bogeyman for Unix flavours.
Yes it unrolled different in the details, but quite much as advertised
> I don't see smalltalk "retiring" or "going six palms down" because
> from the corporate vantage point smalltalk just didn't happen
Well, it happened at its time, but didn't got enough momentum to
become the COBOL of OO languages.
> IMO, some things prevented smalltalk going main stream:
> (a) bad marketing from smalltalk players
I think we can agree on this.
> (b) Java happened and its shortcomings weren't evident to community from
> the start but Sun put a real bunch of money in it.
Also, the moment in history and the way as the language was deployed
(no competing flavours or dialects, etc.) was different than when
Smalltalk was introduced.
Java was mainly a means to program in OO, while Smalltalk had to
convince people of way different paradigm, and learn a language.
> (c) Microsoft had its own ideas about development platforms (C#, .net, etc)
Of course! They make a living selling proprietary stuff! Eons ago,
they got rid of their COBOL business, they Fortran business, etc.
They attempted to 'embrace and extend' Java and when it backfired they
got rid of "VisualJ" and went .Net...
> (d) Nobody presented a (really) suitable solution to large scale
> problems (performance, scalability, security, stability, etc), so
> corporations kept relying on "traditional" solutions (like C, C++,
Yep, in the nineties all the Smalltalk projects that I had crossed
were of the nature more or less: "...we've this solution developed in
Smalltalk and need to port to C++ in order to solve the __ problem,
where the blank is one of the above plus some other created by
> (e) "Mainframe world" is a completely different breed.
> What's happening is that "software development world" is getting
> short of solutions to jump to next Fermi levels of systems
> development. Just a little look in industry and it becomes really
> visible. Some development cycles in "software consumer products" are
> exceeding five years & costs are surpassing hundreds of millions of
> IMO smalltalk and/or its derivatives may fill important niches. But
> wether this happens or not will depend on several things. The most
> important of all is the availability of a clean open solution,
> coherent, supported and fully documented. Currently there are two
> divergent families of "open smalltalk":
> (a) gnu smalltalk
> (b) squeak/pharo/cuis
> Focusing in the squeak/pharo/cuis branch, I've noticed that pharo
> people got really concerned in aspects that can attract market
> interest. They're looking for funding, fighting to have "hired
> people" (meaning under wages) minding "hairy aspects" of
> development, maintenance, documentation and some sort of
> "standardization", etc. Collaborators also produced interesting
> "printed material" (books, tutorials) but IMO such material is still
> very academic in nature. People in industry likes best "manual"
> stuff (like "foundation classes" with "methods" (messages in the
> case) documented, etc). IMO (again) here lies a relevant problem:
> there are "no foundation classes" (no "landmarks" or things that
> cannot be easily changed) and it becomes apparent when people
> exchange ideas about "keeping this" and "getting rid of that". At
> least debate is going on and many issues have been addressed.
> One thing I don't (yet) like in pharo is that there's no easy way of
> applying fixes. Would be nice to have an update mechanism automating
> (at least) fixes installation. I think this kind of thing is
> important to market acceptance of smalltalk.
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