I took the "Programming Language Independent Study" course three times at my school. Once for FORTRAN, once for COBOL, and once for PL/I. It's amazing to me that COBOL is not only still around but appears to be thriving!
The newest versions of COBOL provide:
It's interesting to me that there seems to be a kind of convergence going on. It used to be the case that a language was exciting to me just because of the language syntax, or the way it sort of "felt" in its constructs.
But the point remains that the data language we use for describing operations is becoming a larger and larger part of the programs we write. I have to know XML if I'm going to create a GTK GUI using Glade and then tweak the output. I have to know SQL to store my data in a decent database. At what point do C++ and Python just become the glue I use to stick together the data I'm using to describe my processing operations together?
What happens when someone describes a decent computational language with XML?
(I'll probably still think it's too verbose.)
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