Rest in Peace
People get very religious about Computing languages. C# vs Java, VB vs Delphi, C++ and LISP. But quite frankly, I somehow never expected developers to treat COBOL as a religion: No object-orientation (not one which has been accepted or used), no exception handling, and allowing lots of bad practices: GO-TOs, REDEFINES ... You have people who argue the COBOL syntax is easier to read, but in reality - with so many GOTO and Redefines statements, many production COBOL programs are the epitome of spagetti code - and are not that easy to read.
Yet, those religious about COBOL say that it is alive and kicking - the article in SDTimes A_half_Century_of_COBOL says:
" While new COBOL projects are nearly extinct, its resilience as a maintainable, simple, English-based language has kept COBOL programs going strong, long after their initial development has finished."
Tell me, how many of you changed your record players with a CD player the moment it became available? How many changed the VHS recorders the moment DVD Players arrived? Have you all replaced these items with Blue Ray devices? Or having switched over to IPOD type devices - have you got rid of all your CDs?
COBOL was used for development of new business for nearly 30-40 years, it will take sometime to be completely replaced. But make no mistake, it will be replaced, the migration has already started and is picking up pace.
Lets face it, none of us drive 50 year old cars. Just like automotive technology, the programming technology has also come a long way in 50 years. Few people are interested in learning such old technology, and there cannot be many people left who actually like working in this archaic language. And the only new up-takers are the ones who have to - for financial or other reasons.
Organizations should start looking for alternative solutions.