And interestingly enough, a lot of what we do is the same as what we
used to do, just in a slightly different venue. One of my favorite old
saws is that everything was written in the 60's and we've just been
reimplementing it. There's a grain of truth in that: with the exception
of object-oriented programming, there hasn't been a whole lot of
fundamentally "new" stuff in some time. Heck, SOA is recycled n-tier
processing, which itself was a new name for peer-to-peer, which grew out
of client/server. Maybe virtualization, although we've had emulators
for a long time.
The differences in programming languages are pretty few and
fundamental. OO vs procedural, compiled vs. interpreted, static typing
vs. dynamic. Most scripting languages are syntax differences from one
another, most GUIs have the same basic concepts. The issue is where you
focus your time, which is why I like RPG, Java and EGL: most of my time
is spent designing my database, my classes and my records. That is, I'm
data centric, and that makes me take more time up front to design my
system. The more dynamic a language gets, the more it invites hacking
(the dark side of rapid application development) in which you write some
code to get something to work and then tweak it. The problem is that
despite the best intentions the old code tends to stay around and then
it gets cloned and suddenly it becomes "standard" (don't believe me?
then why does everyone have a folder called WEB-INF?).
And that's part of the reason you see 30-year old RPG code, because it
was designed well up front and still does exactly what it was intended
I started writing RPG in '86. I wrote my first code for an employer in '79.
I wrote my first program in college in '74 (good ol' FORTRAN IV). Stuff
from the '60s is ancient, but I wouldn't call anything newer than that
'old'. I wrote some pretty decent stuff in the '80s. LOL
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