brain sizes: Einstein's and women's

John Knight johnknight at
Wed Jul 17 01:47:27 EST 2002

"Parse Tree" <parsetree at> wrote in message
news:Ne6Z8.6589$Db.356565 at

> > In fact of course almost all COBOL code is written by professional
> > programmers.
> >
> > 2.3 What's Good About COBOL?
> > More people can write COBOL than C/++. There is more COBOL code than
> > probably any other language.
> This is not true at all.  C/C++ combined is far more popular than COBOL.
> Actually, there are many languages that are more popular than COBOL
> (presently).

I agree.  By posting this reference, I didn't mean to imply that I agree
with all its points.  Even for business programming, my bet is that Cobol is
way down the list, and always has been.  I'm most familiar with Algol, and
Unisys (which used to be Burroughs) built a LOT of business and banking
computers based on Algol.  Algol was already widely accepted before Cobol
was even developed, and I doubt if the DOD would have accepted it as a
standard had it not been for IBM pushing for it.

> I'd go as far to say that Visual Basic is more popular, as well as Perl
> Java.


> > Indeed there may be more COBOL code in existence than any other
> > This means that much of the Intellectual Property of business is
> in
> > COBOL programs.
> This is horribly outdated.  I'm fairly certain that the 10 largest
> products in the world are probably all written in C/C++.  Additionally, I
> doubt that more than 1% of PC software is written in COBOL.  I'm pretty
> that Video Game systems use 0 COBOL as well.
> The amount of software written for the IBM personal computer dwarfs that
> Mainframes by several orders of magnitude.
> Cite more recent sources next time.  History changes as we uncover more
> details.

All of the developers of computer languages have touted theirs as the most
widely used, and it's impossible to quantify those claims.  But with all the
shortcomings of Cobol, due mostly to government involvement in its
development, it's about the last language I would use.  It's really not
clear why anyone would standardize on it unless a government contract forced
them to (and that represents a real small part of all software development).

Can you even imagine the scenario under which someone would put it on a PC?

John Knight

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