Sunday, 17 May 2009

COBOL is fifty

Anniversaries are coming thick and fast this year, but one which is close to me because it has provided me with most income is that of COBOL. It is not the first machine-independent computer language to be defined (that honour belongs to FORTRAN) but it's probably the one which had most impact. I could say more, but the celebration site (just press the button) says it much better.


Anonymous said...

What about Pascal, the bain of my life in the first year at University! When't that anniversary?

Frank H Little said...

Definitely a johnny-come-lately. According to its designer, Niklaus Wirth: "The programming language Pascal was designed in the years 1968/69, and I named it after the French philosopher and mathematician, who in 1642 designed one of the first gadgets that might truly be called a digital calculator. The first compiler for Pascal was operational in early 1970, at which time the language definition also was published [Wirth, 1970]."