Life begins at 40 for Cobol

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Life begins at 40 for Cobol

Tina Milton


Tina Milton

Just three weeks after the thrill of the millennium the IT industry has another milestone to celebrate - the fortieth anniversary of the world's commonest computer language Cobol.

Sundry luminaries gathered at San Diego, California to celebrate the life and times of Cobol, and to praise and remember the woman widely acknowledged as its main creator, the late Rear Admiral Grace Hopper. A ceremony was held at a pier next to the USS Hopper, a missile destroyer named after the heroine of Cobol.

There speeches were made, a navy band played, and a cake was cut in honour of Hopper who died in 1992. Afterwards US Government officials and corporate spokesman paid tribute to Hopper's work. Side-by-side with this event the Cobol Alliance held a software technology summit meeting, featuring relevant software experts. They discussed topics as far ranging as the IT staffing shortage, and bringing existing business systems into the e-business age.

The Cobol Alliance hopes to run appropriate events throughout the year, as marks of respect to Cobol, but as yet no further events have been definitely arranged. Among the ideas that may come to pass are a series of magazine adverts proclaiming "Cobol is Good."

Meanwhile here are some Cobol facts:

  • Over 200 billion lines of Cobol are currently in use.
  • Each year five billion more lines are created.
  • The first Cobol program was written in 1957.
  • There are over three million Cobolers employed world-wide.
  • The fifth ANSI standard of Cobol should be out this year.


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