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Lines of code

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Will F


I came across this statement today

According to a report from Gartner group:
In 1997 they estimated that there were about 300 billion lines of computer code in use in the world. Of that they estimated that about 80% (240 billion lines) were in COBOL and 20% (60 billion lines) were written in all the other computer languages combined.

I don't consider "lines of code" to be a particularly useful metric, but regardless, it always amazes me to be reminded how much COBOL is still in use.

In actual game dev news, i've been looking at Inform 7. A few years ago I wrote some small interactive fiction games with Inform 6, but the new version seems to be something completely different - a natural language approach to a programming. I don't have much motivation to work on an interactive fiction game these days but i'm going to play with it a bit.

I've also put over 40 hours into Disgaea 2 over the last 3 weeks. That's about 2 hours per day on average. I'm disgusted with myself, that's a lot of free time gone. The sad thing is that i'll probably stay at that pace for at least another week or two - i'm enjoying it too much.
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If you've ever maintained code for a company more than 5 years old, you will encounter lots of Cobol and Fortran code. There's a lot of statements regarding "old school" software engineering on Wikipedia that look completely absurd on the face but are actually chillingly true.

Hell, I'm working for a company that's three years old (spun off of a major power giant here) and they have reams and reams and reams of Fortran code running on Vaxes that they just managed to expire in favour of off-the-shelf gear and contractor-written .NET abortions.

My city's two-year-old traffic light mesh networking control software is running on a 1987 MicroVAX in COBOL. Why? Because that's all the city's software developers know. They have to contract out for .NET and web work.

My mother would probably be able to talk much more about COBOL, since it was her bread and butter along with Fortran and PL/1 when she worked for Ontario Hydro and a bunch of oil companies during Canada's metricization in the 80s.

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After rereading the post I edited it to more accurately reflect what I was thinking.

I was aware that COBOL is still used, I just tend to forget how extensive its use is. The concept of doing so seems so foreign to me. I'd to be curious to know how much of it is running on original hardware versus in a virtualized environment on modern commodity hardware.

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