Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 28th Jul 2013 14:06 UTC
General Development "There is a reason I use 'old' languages like J or Lush. It's not a retro affectation; I save that for my suits. These languages are designed better than modern ones. There is some survivor bias here; nobody slings PL/1 or Cobol willingly, but modern language and package designers don't seem to learn much from the masters. Modern code monkeys don't even recognize mastery; mastery is measured in dollars or number of users, which is a poor substitute for distinguishing between what is good and what is dumb. Lady Gaga made more money than Beethoven, but, like, so what?" This isn't just a thing among programmers. The entire industry is obsessed with user numbers, number of applications, and other crap that is meaningless when you consider programming to be art. When I post a new item about some small hobby operating system, the comments will be filled with negativity because it's no Windows or iOS, whereas only ten years ago, we'd have lively discussions about the implementation details. And then people wonder why that scene has died out.
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Array languages in the financial industry
by vaette on Mon 29th Jul 2013 00:26 UTC
vaette
Member since:
2008-08-09

Array languages are still alive and well in at least one place; the financial industry. For example in the form of A+, used at Morgan Stanley, and K/Q/KDB+, sold by a company called kx, used in many places. They serve as a combination of databases and numerical analysis tools. In both the mentioned cases they were designed by Arthur Whitney, who also shows up in the languages mentioned in the articles in that he wrote the initial prototype implementation of J.

Very nice languages, rather dense and seemingly daunting, but extremely effective for a lot of tasks.

Reply Score: 4

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

For example in the form of A+, used at Morgan Stanley, and K/Q/KDB+, sold by a company called kx, used in many places.


The question is if they're still in use because there is nothing better available today or if they're still in use because the financial industry is extremely wary of change (come on, these are the guys still using Cobol) and why change something that works?

The fact that these systems are still in use does in itself prove nothing.

Reply Parent Score: 3

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Soulbender,

"The fact that these systems are still in use does in itself prove nothing."

Ain't that the truth.

I think mainframes had developed some very advanced and efficient techniques with regards to developing standard VSAM files, queues, and batch processing that was almost entirely lost on developers growing up in the PC world (which is most of us). However now I've seen mainframe platforms being pushed into modern use cases such as hosting web apps and web services. They are awfully out of place in a modern web world, the companies who use mainframes today wouldn't be likely to choose them today, they just have very old dependencies and don't like to change.

Reply Parent Score: 2

vaette Member since:
2008-08-09

Because there is nothing better available, they are rather esoteric and no new hires knows how to use them, so attempts to move off of them are ongoing. It just so happens that there is nothing that really does what they do as well.

Reply Parent Score: 3