Rich kids are into COBOL

Guy Sotomayor ggs at
Wed Mar 4 11:45:49 CST 2015

> On Mar 4, 2015, at 9:15 AM, Mouse <mouse at> wrote:
>>> Perhaps I'm just revealing the paucity of the languages I know [...]
>>> it's one of the very few languages I know in which arrays are
>>> first-class objects, and the only one I know with a reasonably rich
>>> set of operators tuned for operating on arrays.
>> one other, which you may or may not classify as a ¿language¿, is
>> Mathematica.
> I don't know enough about it to offer an opinion - on either its status
> as a language or its fit to my descriptive sketch.  But it wouldn't
> surprise me if you're right.

I've been using Mathematica for years.  It's an extremely powerful tool.
I especially like the whole notion of notebooks.  I've also used MatLab
which also falls somewhat into that category.  MatLab is is really optimized
around vectors and arrays.

>> I hesitate a little to recommend it, because for most of its history,
>> the price of entry has been pretty high, but at the moment it¿s a
>> free download for Raspbian on Raspberry Pi, [...]
> It's not a criticism of the language, and it's a criticism of the
> implementation for only my own purposes, but it still carries the price
> of running closed-source code, which is too high for me.  (Note that
> this is a personal judgement call.  Others, obviously, make that
> tradeoff differently.)

A somewhat similar tool is Maxima (a clone of Macsyma) that is
derived from the original at MIT and work continued by DOE.

I've never been rabid about closed vs open source.  If there's a good tool
that runs in an environment I use/have access to, I use it.  I don't have the
time to mess around with trying to get tools to work.

After more than a decade of working on Linux (both personally and
professionally) I finally gave up due to incompatibilities and getting into
circular loops and the weeks spent trying to get a system configured
that would run various tools (without having to have a different system
for each tool).  I had several cases where one program needed a
specific version of a system library, another program needed a
*different* specific version of the library and the rest of the system
wanting yet a 3rd version of the same library.

TTFN - Guy

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