Thursday, September 28, 2017

Episode 70: COBOL and Mainframes


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Game Theory + Reinforcement Learning


Book of the Show

Tool of the Show

COBOL and Mainframe Computing

  • History of COBOL
    • Sponsored by the Department of Defense & Companies
      • GE, Phillips, IBM
    • Most popular language worldwide by 1970
    • Over 60% of organizations still use COBOL as of 2012
    • Used for back-end financial services and mainframes
    • The Y2K Problem
  • Basic Features
    • Procedural
    • Compiled
    • Statically Typed for objects, duck typed for primitives
  • Unique Features
    • Picture clauses
      • Similar to sprintf but stateful
  • Current State
    • COBOL 2014
    • A majority of software managers said they are moving off COBOL or would if it was cheaper
  • Mainframes & Batch Processing
    • Submit jobs, wait in queue for results
    • Initially punch cards handed to a human
    • A massive machine with total data locality