OS/390 PL/I Programmers 
Author Message
 OS/390 PL/I Programmers

Hi,

Just got back from SHARE. An excellent week.

I attended a lot of sessions on COBOL, PL/I, and LE. One thing that struck me
was a session where the compiler developers were saying they don't have many
new compiler capabilities on their agenda because programmers weren't coming up
with stated needs for them. At that same session, two programmers came up with
new needs (primarily for very large tables) that would not require waiting for
the new standard to come out.

A related point was that there are so many shops out there not using what's
already there that it's hard to make a business case for adding new
functionality.

So it got me to thinking. Perhaps we've been a little lazy, a little
non-creative. I would like to challenge each PL/I programmer on OS/390 class
systems to think a little bit about what enhancements to existing applications,
or new applications, they would make if the compiler supported them. Can we
come up with practical features that we can ask IBM to implement? And
furthermore, what would it take to get companies to move off of the old PL/I
technology? They made it clear they can't use a "stick" (and besides, IBM has
been steadily discontinuing support for various compiler versions and there are
still a lot of companies that this hasn't motivated to move). What would give
us all a jump start?

One reason Java and related technologies get all the hype is that they are
glitzy (if not always the best tool for the task at hand). PL/I is not
particularly glitzy, it just gets lots of jobs done in a repeatable,
maintainable, sustainable way. Do we want to raise the level of perception /
appreciation for PL/I? How can we take charge of our careers and our [portion
of the] industry?

Just some thoughts.

Regards,

Steve Comstock
Telephone: 303-393-8716
www.trainersfriend.com

256-B S. Monaco Parkway
Denver, CO 80224
USA



Fri, 30 Aug 2002 03:00:00 GMT  
 OS/390 PL/I Programmers
Below you find an excerpt of an answer I sent to Dan Cross.
Unfortunately I am not working on System 390. I would like
if I could find an employer. I would be also available as an
offshore consultant.

But now just an answer about how to continue PL/I development.
I think it could be a new kick for this very good programming
language if we could make available something like a
PL/I-Builder, as Borland does it with Pascal, C/C++ and Java.

----

When I programmed PL/I in the early seventies, I ordered the
complete compiler logic and runtime logic documentation.
And they said, that it took about 200 man years of
development effort.
PL/I is still the richest compiler for 3GL. But it can hardly
compete with the new OOP technologies, where the
rich, and permanently growing class libraries make
available the basics for RAD.
Coming back to PL/I, it is still a suitable and competitive tool
if you need to create applications without any hidden code
and blackboxes. And you need it to port PL/I applications
from one system to a different one. PL/I is good for
transparency and security of your code.
Fortunately the modern compiler building tools will reduce
the effort of creating a  PL/I compiler. But I think there
must be at least 20 experienced engineers working and
testing for up to two years to create an almost VA PL/I
compatible compiler (full time job, beta version of course).
Are there people who will find it a challenge to participate at such
a project ???
Anyhow, for people who need it for professional reasons on
BCD, they will have the budget for VA Personal PL/I. Hopefully
(I do not know BCD very well, but I heared that there are
WINDOWS emulators under LINUX), there will be a WINDOWS
emulator under BCD, and then it could work...

b rgds
Markus Loew



Quote:
> Hi,

> Just got back from SHARE. An excellent week.

> I attended a lot of sessions on COBOL, PL/I, and LE. One thing that struck
me
> was a session where the compiler developers were saying they don't have
many
> new compiler capabilities on their agenda because programmers weren't
coming up
> with stated needs for them. At that same session, two programmers came up
with
> new needs (primarily for very large tables) that would not require waiting
for
> the new standard to come out.

> A related point was that there are so many shops out there not using
what's
> already there that it's hard to make a business case for adding new
> functionality.

> So it got me to thinking. Perhaps we've been a little lazy, a little
> non-creative. I would like to challenge each PL/I programmer on OS/390
class
> systems to think a little bit about what enhancements to existing
applications,
> or new applications, they would make if the compiler supported them. Can
we
> come up with practical features that we can ask IBM to implement? And
> furthermore, what would it take to get companies to move off of the old
PL/I
> technology? They made it clear they can't use a "stick" (and besides, IBM
has
> been steadily discontinuing support for various compiler versions and
there are
> still a lot of companies that this hasn't motivated to move). What would
give
> us all a jump start?

> One reason Java and related technologies get all the hype is that they are
> glitzy (if not always the best tool for the task at hand). PL/I is not
> particularly glitzy, it just gets lots of jobs done in a repeatable,
> maintainable, sustainable way. Do we want to raise the level of perception
/
> appreciation for PL/I? How can we take charge of our careers and our
[portion
> of the] industry?

> Just some thoughts.

> Regards,

> Steve Comstock
> Telephone: 303-393-8716
> www.trainersfriend.com

> 256-B S. Monaco Parkway
> Denver, CO 80224
> USA



Fri, 30 Aug 2002 03:00:00 GMT  
 
 [ 2 post ] 

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