I knew someone would disagree with me, which is why I went on to refine my
meaning of respect.  As someone who did research in compilers, I have to
take strong exception to any language whose tokens cannot be specified with
context-insensitive regular expressions (note in FORTRAN spaces are
irrelevant, so "DOI" might mean a variable of that name or "DO I", the
beginning of a loop), and/or whose syntax cannot be represented by an LR(1)

I still can't imagine what universities would actually still use COBOL in
their CS curricula.


-----Original Message-----
From: Brashear, Phil [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Wednesday, June 14, 2000 10:18 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Future of Ada -- Not enough "Ada people"

Martin (Carlisle) said:

"but no self-respecting Comp Sci department I know teaches COBOL anymore. .

and then goes on to refine his meaning of "respect".

I don't agree.  Now I don't like COBOL any better than the next guy, but I
respect its place in
the world -- and not only historically.  Some respectable (in my mind)
Computer Science
departments teach File Processing using COBOL.  Others encourage their
students to take
COBOL courses taught in other curricula.

The company I work for still does an enormous amount of its business-world
work in COBOL,
as well as C, C++, Java, and whatever else is appropriate for the job
(including Ada).

I DO agree with his assessment that it's cost-effective to retrain a good
software engineer in Ada.
Back in the late 80's, when very few schools were teaching Ada, I really
didn't care whether a
recent graduate (for example) already knew the language.  I only cared that
they knew how to
work hard and learn quickly -- and it paid off.

Philip W. Brashear
EDS Conformance Testing Center
4646 Needmore Road, Bin 46
P.O. Box 24593
Dayton, OH  45424-0593
(937) 237-4510
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