Hi all;

This is not my 1998 Predictions,  I am still composing them. But at the
end of the year it's good to reflect on the past and try to gain some 
insight where we can.  This article came to me and I am forwarding it to 
you all for your edification.  (BTW,  did you know that the internal 
combustion engine is about a hundred years old?  It now doesn't look 
anything like the original model,  but it's in nearly every car, bus, 
and truck on the road, why? because it still works I guess)

Another side note before you read the article.  It has been said that the
slow bureaucraticness of the US federal goverment(taking a long time to 
pass a bill, needing 2/3's vote, etc.) has in fact helped dampen the 
sudden swinging of the goverment from the momentary/temporary/whimsical
(in a historical timespan perspective) urges of popular opinions.  

Having said that mouthful,  Read the article and think what gyrations 
our app's would have gone through over the last 10-20 years if they all
could have been changed easily into the "language de jour" as each language
that was claimed by the pundits as "THE LANGUAGE" came and went.  

Could it be that we owe a little graditude to our "Legacy" apps, (those 
which cannot be transformed overnight), for not letting us get too carried 
away with the "NEW LANGUAGE" until it has proven itself?   They(legacy 
app's) may be like the tail on a kite, a weight impedding our forward 
momentum yes, but at the same time have you seen the flight path of a 
kite without a tail(or counterweight)? 

John Carr
Merry Christmas
Happy Hanukkah
Happy _______ (whatever yours is)
Hope you and yours are safe and in good cheer this season.

(the bottom has the original author, places, dates, etc.)

   Once upon a time, there was a programming language set to revolutionize
   data processing. It was expansive and all-encompassing, and it would
   render obsolete the cumbersome 3GL languages like COBOL and RPG. The
   language, invented by IBM, was called PL/I.

   Later came Ada, another programming language. It was said the entire
   world would have to switch to it because the U.S. Department of Defense
   was insisting on structured programming language content.

   Ada got lost in the whirlwind of IBM's AD/Cycle, where programmers
   were going to be retrained as business modelers and subject matter
   experts. These people would use CASE tools.

   But once those drums stopped beating, the openness phenomenon swept
   the industry. Soon enough, we came to believe that any application not
   written in C would be swiftly relegated to the binary dustbin.

   Then, the object-oriented phenomena struck. Industry gurus decreed
   that code was to have inheritance and polymorphism. And Smalltalk was
   ordained as the programming language to make all other coding styles

   When Smalltalk's limits were exposed, vendors created object
   standards, like SOM and COM. Once again, these were touted as the new
   terminology on which the industry would "standardize."

   Java is the hot new OO programming language today. It's the language
   of the Internet, providing complete operating system independence, code
   reusability standards and high performance. The word is RPG and COBOL
   programmers had better get some training -- or face redundancy.

   In light of this flavor-of-the-month "standardization," no one can
   blame AS/400 developers for being skeptical and cynical. In truth though,
   most of these programming languages have left their marks. While a
   programmer can still use RPG today, the status quo in programming has 

   Each so-called programming "revolution" did less in setting the
   standard for programming languages and much more for overcoming industry 

   Programming languages like Ada may be gone, but they are not
   forgotten. Today, because of it, no one can imagine writing unstructured
   applications. Does this mean you have to use Ada? Not at all. RPG evolved
   to provide for structured programming.

   Programming languages like C have left their mark. It is reckless to
   write applications that are not portable from system to system. But
   client/server technology, and the importance of common middleware
   standards (like ODBC), eliminated the need for code written in C.

   CASE tools have played a role in the evolution of programming
   languages. Writing applications without a proper design is unprincipled.
   Developing applications with user feedback from RAD/Prototype usage is
   absurd. But customers can now use simple tools like ER/Win and Visual
   Basic to accomplish development tasks.

   OO programming has also influenced the industry. Today, immediacy is
   the name of the game. No one has the time and money to write software 
   scratch, especially if it's been done before. Developers reuse what is
   available. Does this mean everyone has converted to C++ and Smalltalk? Of
   course not, but object standards, like COM and JavaBeans, sure are hot.

   Java, too, will leave its mark. But it still won't replace RPG.

   We'll never see a single language to support highly scalable,
   subsecond transaction processing, super fast batch processing,
   lightning-speed ODBC and client connectivity, full GUI design and full
   systems portability. No one language will provide Internet byte Trencode,
   Internet-based transaction integrity and security, and at the same time,
   provide full investment protection for every RPG F-spec written on the
   S/3. The closest you'll ever come is through OS/400 and ILE.

   ILE languages can be used to write stored procedures or triggers and
   CGI scripts and will support a Java Virtual Machine. This provides far
   longer life for RPG programs than ever imagined.

 Java: Another Step in Code Evolution - PMT   97-50   07250782    

   Buchner, Mark

   JOURNAL NAME- MIDRANGE Systems   97-11-14   PP. 038   ISSN- 1041-8237
COPYRIGHT 1997 Boucher Communications, Inc.   SOURCE OF ARTICLE(S)- 
Magazine/Journal LANGUAGE- English,  (DEF)

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