Vern wrote:

> I get <bold>extremely</bold> frustrated when programming examples are
> only written in PL/I. This can often happen in redbooks. I wasn't around
> when PL/I had a chance, and the fact is that we don't have the product on
> any of our machines—or, like REXX, is it on all 400's without IBM telling
> us?


Yo Dude,

I don't run into many PL/I examples any more in Redbooks...and usually
they were an also ran schenerio...

For those uninitiated as to what PL/I is/was: take the BEST of FORTRAN,
COBOL and BASIC; Free format (for all practical purposes) text codeing
(non of this column-x stuff) and you've got PL/I.  

I'm not aware that PL/I is shipped with the O/S (Al?) as back in the S/38
and early 400 days it was a VERY EXPENSIVE language add on....I think the
S/38 version cost about $10k back then for a model 6...(and yes I REALLY

Unfortunately, the S/38 and AS/400 implementations were really small
subsets of the true power we had with this language on the mainframes...
I used to do ecosystems simulations with it back when a undergrad at damn job I ever had...and most of our work was in PL/I
.so when I heard it was available on
the S/38 I ordered the manual and snuck a peak at the compiler at the
local IBM office...  Man was I disappointed.  I don't recall all the
missing stuff (we're talking '85 here!) but it was enough...  Also, PL/I
does alot in floating point which the 38 and 400 (until recently) really
hated to implement, even though they had the mnumonics in the o/s to
support most of...  The 400 and 38 were designed to be database machines.
And the language implementations show it.  Don't try to do serious system
sims with's not nice or fun...:)

Actually, if you knew PL/I you were rather surprised that people were
STUPD enough to want to support stuff like C or pascal in the 70's...
There was actually no real reason for these languages since you could have
done all they did and more in base PL/I or with new op code features....
heck, BUILD on what you have, don't reinvent the wheel...

...time to get back to doing my 3rd qtr taxes...yes, I'm late...:)

Don in DC metro

PS, Al, et al, thinking back to Clemson reminded me...The chair of the
computer science dept (Turner) considered RPG to be a dead non-used
language that you could get out of a book in a few hours....needles to say
I ignored him and took a class at a local community college...damn glad I, it's been marketing since mid '70's.... :)

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