brain sizes: Einstein's and women's

Bob LeChevalier lojbab at
Wed Jul 17 04:05:01 EST 2002

"Parse Tree" <parsetree at> wrote:
>> COBOL was and remains the industry standard in business programming, which is
>> the largest percentage of software in the country.  Algol never was much used
>> in the US.
>Are you implying that COBOL is the most widely used language in the world?

Yes.  Y2K would not have been a problem if COBOL was not so widely used.

>That is not true.  C holds that position.  Actually, there are quite a few
>languages that are more widely used than COBOL.

I think (Visual) BASIC is the most used language for new software, C is the
most used for retail packages, but the iceberg of legacy COBOL programs that
have been and will be maintained for years if not decades to come because it
would cost too much to rewrite them still dominates.

If you have better cites than the following, I'd be interested.      (1989, unfortunately)
both show COBOL most used in information systems 
show that COBOL is in 3rd place in military systems, seeing almost no use in
weapons systems but dominating information systems, overall ending up in 3rd
place behind ADA and C.

But non-military systems are predominantly information systems.
indicates that the number of COBOL programmers is around 3 million
is from 2000, and says the following:
>Common Business Oriented Language (COBOL) has been in use since the late 1950s and is the major language for business applications. Estimates for new business application development show COBOL and Visual Basic tied at about 35% of current microcomputer development.


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