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Funny quotes about old programming languages

If you are a COBOL guy, doen’t get too upset because it all comes around.  If you really want to see a language put down, read what the Ruby community or functional programming gurus say about Java (and C# by inference). 


For the record, I have coded in Fortran 77 (badly) and worked in a shop mostly dominated by COBOL.  I don’t have anything against COBOL per se, but I think the early versions discouraged the usage of subroutines due to inefficiency set back programming a bit.  I jokingly called someone a “COBOL programmer” just yesterday for a big, big chunk of Java code unpolluted by fluff like other classes and extraneous methods (behind his back, but don’t feel sorry for him, he makes much more than you or I.  Non-coding architect having fun learning to code again).  One use case, one method, start to finish with no wussy subroutines baby! 

Many people say that Ruby is like a developer magnifier that allows good developers to be faster and bad developers to fail faster.  That might be so, but to me, Fortran 77 was more like an equalizer.  Everybody is humbled before the “unknown error at line 0″ compiler message.

My favorites:

    •  A computer without COBOL and FORTRAN is like a piece of chocolate cake without ketchup or mustard. (John Krueger)

    • The tree large enough that a stake capable of killing COBOL could be fashioned from its trunk has not yet grown anywhere upon the face of this verdant planet. (Dan Martinez)

    • Cobol has almost no fervent enthusiasts. As a programming tool, it has roughly the sex appeal of a wrench. (Charles Petzold)

Same site, other pages

    • Lisp has all the visual appeal of oatmeal with fingernail clippings mixed in. (((Larry Wall)))

    • If Java had true garbage collection, most programs would delete themselves upon execution. (Robert Sewell)

    • Using Java for serious jobs is like trying to take the skin off a rice pudding wearing boxing gloves. (Tel Hudson)

    • Perl: The only language that looks the same before and after RSA encryption. (Keith Bostic)


About Jeremy Miller

Jeremy is the Chief Software Architect at Dovetail Software, the coolest ISV in Austin. Jeremy began his IT career writing "Shadow IT" applications to automate his engineering documentation, then wandered into software development because it looked like more fun. Jeremy is the author of the open source StructureMap tool for Dependency Injection with .Net, StoryTeller for supercharged acceptance testing in .Net, and one of the principal developers behind FubuMVC. Jeremy's thoughts on all things software can be found at The Shade Tree Developer at http://codebetter.com/jeremymiller.
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  • REarl

    Hey, I used to be a steel industry COBOL programmer. And I’m still a COBOL programmer, but now for a different industry. My headstone will probably be written in COBOL.

  • Worm

    This was in the fortune list where I once worked

    “COBOL is the best of the worst, die Fortran die.”

    Code wars did not start in the naughties, nineties or eighties

  • http://www.chadmyers.com/Blog cmyers

    “As long as there are ill-defined goals, bizarre bugs, and unrealistic schedules, there will be Real Programmers willing to jump in and Solve The Problem, saving the documentation for later. Long live FORTRAN!”

    It seems that Mort (using the official Microsoft definition) is not a new phenomenon in the Microsoft world :)