experchange > vms

Simon Clubley (01-08-19, 03:19 PM)
All this talk about programming languages has made me wonder what
the most popular application programming languages are on VMS, both
today and in the past.

Since the language options are going to vary with application type
(you are not going to see a lot of scientific programming in COBOL
for example :-)), this is across the VMS base as a whole and not
across one specific section of it.

Does anyone know the answer ?

Thanks,

Simon.
abrsvc (01-08-19, 03:51 PM)
On Tuesday, January 8, 2019 at 8:19:14 AM UTC-5, Simon Clubley wrote:
[..]
> --
> Simon Clubley, clubley@remove_me.eisner.decus.org-Earth.UFP
> Microsoft: Bringing you 1980s technology to a 21st century world


I can only talk about the ones for the sites that I support...

The most common that I see are:

FORTRAN
COBOL
C
BASIC

Others seen but not particularly actively used in new development:

DIBOL
MACRO-32
PASCAL
Bill Gunshannon (01-08-19, 04:19 PM)
On 1/8/19 8:51 AM, abrsvc wrote:
[..]
> DIBOL
> MACRO-32
> PASCAL


Don't forget Ada. The VAX running VMS had one of the
first validated compilers and saw use pretty much from
the very first VAX to hit the streets. I saw it in the
very early 80's.

bill
Scott Dorsey (01-08-19, 04:57 PM)
Bill Gunshannon <bill.gunshannon> wrote:
>Don't forget Ada. The VAX running VMS had one of the
>first validated compilers and saw use pretty much from
>the very first VAX to hit the streets. I saw it in the
>very early 80's.


Well, there's the thing.
Ada was very popular on the vax. Really, it was the other way around, if
you wanted Ada, you bought a vax to run it because the vax compiler was
good. But, most of those Ada applications have long left VMS and gone
elsewhere.

Likewise, Fortran was very very popular on the vax. Lots of people in
the scientific computing community used the vax and alpha machines because
they had a lot of CPU for the dollar, and there were a lot of coprocessors
available from outfits like FPS and Mercury to make your fortran code run
faster. But those people all left VMS by the mid-nineties in search of
ever more CPU, and for the most part they took their Fortran code with them.

In 1988 the vax was our departmental computer and we had a large array of
programming languages for it. We even had xlisp and forth. The people using
that stuff were the first to move off to Sun workstations.

So, the programming language mix today is likely very different than it
was in 1990, because the stuff that was very portable is all gone.
My guess is that most of what is left are commercial applications in
languages appropriate for that.
--scott
Bob Koehler (01-08-19, 05:16 PM)
In article <q1280fiu31>,SimonClubley<clubley> writes:
> All this talk about programming languages has made me wonder what
> the most popular application programming languages are on VMS, both
> today and in the past.
> Since the language options are going to vary with application type
> (you are not going to see a lot of scientific programming in COBOL
> for example :-)), this is across the VMS base as a whole and not
> across one specific section of it.
> Does anyone know the answer ?


Based on the noise level, it appears to be DCL. When we got our
first 11/780, it was clearly Fortran IV.
Stephen Hoffman (01-08-19, 07:02 PM)
On 2019-01-08 13:19:11 +0000, Simon Clubley said:

> Does anyone know the answer ?


Doubtful.

No telemetry means data gaps exist here. Big gaps. Available data
sources include customer surveys, language product license purchases,
Java downloads, and arriving language-related bug reports.

VSI lacks insight into the scale and language mix of the customer
source pools, and lacks insight into the usage of languages including
but not limited to Perl, Python, Macro32, Bliss, Lua, TPU, and DCL.

Lots of anecdata and guesswork exists here, certainly. And VSI will
undoubtedly survey at least some of their customers' usage and
mixtures, and some of whom might answer and some of whom won't.

And when asking these sorts of questions, also ponder what Abraham Wald
and the Statistical Research Group had realized about collected data.
Arne Vajhøj (01-09-19, 01:51 AM)
On 1/8/2019 8:19 AM, Simon Clubley wrote:
> All this talk about programming languages has made me wonder what
> the most popular application programming languages are on VMS, both
> today and in the past.
> Since the language options are going to vary with application type
> (you are not going to see a lot of scientific programming in COBOL
> for example :-)), this is across the VMS base as a whole and not
> across one specific section of it.
> Does anyone know the answer ?


I don't.

HPE/VSI may have a clue based on licenses sold.

But we can guess.

Approach #1:

import random

lang = [ 'Fortran', 'Cobol', 'Basic', 'Pascal', 'C', 'C++' ]
random.shuffle(lang)
for i in range(len(lang)):
print('%d - %s' % (i + 1, lang[i]))

:-)

Approach #2:

I will start by distinguishing between:
* Languages for primary applications (applications directly supporting
the organizations main purpose)
* Languages for supporting applications (applications supporting
The primary applications – integrations, web front ends, operation
automation etc.)

Languages for primary applications.

Based on VSI priorities and previous owners actions it seems like
Fortran, Cobol, Basic, Pascal and C are more used than C++, Ada and
PL/I.

Based on my subjective impressions from here it seems like Fortran,
Cobol and C are more used than Basic and Pascal.

That leads to the following 3 tiers:

Tier 1 = Fortran, Cobol, C
Tier 2 = Basic, Pascal
Tier 3 = C++, Ada, PL/I

Languages for supporting applications (excluding languages
also used for primary applications).

There is no doubt that a lot of DCL is used many places. The fact that
DCL is not suited or intended for creating large applications has not
prevented people from writing large DCL scripts to do stuff.

HP(E) and VSI have prioritized Java, so there must definitely be
some usage. I suspect though that Java usage on VMS is mostly for
supporting applications and not for primary applications.

Based on my subjective impressions from here it seems like Python is
also quite popular in the VMS world.

The support/interest for PHP and Perl seems more limited.

That leads to the following 3 tiers:

Tier 1 = DCL
Tier 2 = Java, Python
Tier 3 = PHP, Perl

And if you think the above is pure speculation then you are right – and
you may try approach #1 instead.

:-) :-) :-)

Arne
John Reagan (01-09-19, 04:45 PM)
On Tuesday, January 8, 2019 at 6:51:04 PM UTC-5, Arne Vajhøj wrote:

> That leads to the following 3 tiers:
> Tier 1 = Fortran, Cobol, C
> Tier 2 = Basic, Pascal
> Tier 3 = C++, Ada, PL/I


That is pretty much what the license counts (and my gut) have shown over the years. It has always been hard for the compiler group to count actual customers. We would get revenue amounts for that was after any discount so if all compiler licenses were discounted to $0, then we would appear to get no revenue.

C++ is becoming just as important as Fortran, COBOL, and C.

I know one customer with a BASIC applications that is over 8 million lines.I'm sure there are more, I just have not met them.

I know several customers with Pascal applications that are just as large.

In the VSI world, it is getting even harder. While we have some count on Itanium, look at the Alpha license model that only has

$ show lic /producer=vsi

Active licenses on node GLX2:

------- Product ID -------- ---- Rating ----- -- Version --
Product Producer Units Avail Activ Version Release Termination
ALPHA-LP VSI 0 H 0 0.0 (none) 11-APR-2019
ALPHA-SYSTEM VSI 0 A 0 0.0 (none) 11-APR-2019

And the ALPHA-LP license enables all the compilers.
gérard Calliet (01-09-19, 08:28 PM)
Le 08/01/2019 à 15:19, Bill Gunshannon a écrit :
> On 1/8/19 8:51 AM, abrsvc wrote:
> Don't forget Ada.  The VAX running VMS had one of the
> first validated compilers and saw use pretty much from
> the very first VAX to hit the streets.  I saw it in the
> very early 80's.
> bill +1


But I dont't know how many of them went to DEC Ada Alpha. THe few who
used GNAT Ada Itanium are no more here (said by Adacore, difficult to
evaluate because they have a political decision of stopping their
support for VMS).

It seems that thinking about a future for Ada on VMS involves being able
of addressing the complete set of needs: support and port (to x86) of
all the VAX and Alpha Ada compiler (DEC Ada first, but there are another
Ada compiler for VAX/VMS), support and port (to x86) of GNAT Ada
Itanium, and creating an Ada compiler for VMS x86.

Everything is possible, and it seems it would be better to have a global
offer on this domain - everything is possible *if* it can make sense in
term of business, for sure.

To have an Ada compiler on VMS x86 it can be made by 2 different means:
- gcc cross compiled from Linux - as we have made for our built for VMS
Itanium, => I'm not sure it is even possible, with issues of
compatibility in pushing a strange gcc idiomatic x86 image in a llvm world,
- Adacore will have this year a prototype of Ada compiler using LLVM as
a back end ; we can plug this front end to the VMS LLVM back end => it
is the most rational idea, but we'll have to wait from Adacore, and
Adacore says llvm will never be their principal stream of development.

Gérard Calliet
Bill Gunshannon (01-09-19, 08:52 PM)
On 1/9/19 1:28 PM, gérard Calliet wrote:
[..]
> a back end ; we can plug this front end to the VMS LLVM back end => it
> is the most rational idea, but we'll have to wait from Adacore, and
> Adacore says llvm will never be their principal stream of development.


Aren't Ada compilers still required to be validated? Isn't that
likely to be a work intensive and expensive proposition? Is
there enough of a customer base to justify the time and expense?

bill
Dave Froble (01-09-19, 11:03 PM)
On 1/8/2019 8:51 AM, abrsvc wrote:
[..]
> DIBOL
> MACRO-32
> PASCAL


My memory (don't laugh) is that when the 11/780 came out in 1978, it was
mainly a Fortran machine, aimed at such users. Later other languages
were added. I'm not aware of much other than Fortran in the beginning.

Now, usage may depend on how easily apps can be moved elsewhere.
Fortran for example is available on many systems. Something like
VAX/DEC/COMPAQ/HP Basic just isn't available anywhere else. A while
back a customer wanted me to port an app I wrote for them long ago to
WEENDOZE. I studied the problem, and decided trying ot port would be a
labor intensive nightmare. I knew the app, and decided to just
re-implement from scratch. Worked out much better.

What's in use today will to some extent depend on the viability, or lack
thereof, of porting.
Arne Vajhøj (01-10-19, 02:21 AM)
On 1/9/2019 9:45 AM, John Reagan wrote:
> On Tuesday, January 8, 2019 at 6:51:04 PM UTC-5, Arne Vajhøj wrote:
>> That leads to the following 3 tiers:
>> Tier 1 = Fortran, Cobol, C Tier 2 = Basic, Pascal Tier 3 = C++,
>> Ada, PL/I

> That is pretty much what the license counts (and my gut) have shown
> over the years.


:-)

> C++ is becoming just as important as Fortran, COBOL, and C.


Given that C++ is the only OO language generating native
code supported by HP(E)/VSI, then C++ seems a pretty
obvious choice for new code.

But I have just seen very little activity related to C++
here.

Well - maybe the C++ code written on VMS is more C++ code
than VMS code so questions end up elsewhere.

Arne
Simon Clubley (01-10-19, 02:54 AM)
On 2019-01-08, Arne Vajhøj <arne> wrote:
> On 1/8/2019 8:19 AM, Simon Clubley wrote:
> I don't.


I didn't think I was going to get any clear answers because of the
reasons people have given. I still asked anyway just in case I was
missing something.

[..]
> Tier 1 = Fortran, Cobol, C
> Tier 2 = Basic, Pascal
> Tier 3 = C++, Ada, PL/I


I suspect that is pretty close to the truth.

> Based on my subjective impressions from here it seems like Python is
> also quite popular in the VMS world.


Python is quite popular _everywhere_ because of how versatile it is.
For example, you can use the same language for website backends,
scientific libraries (ie: SciPy), art design plugins (in Blender)
and in game engines (in Panda3D).

> The support/interest for PHP and Perl seems more limited.


Probably because the languages are more limited, especially PHP
which I have not really seen used outside of website development.

> That leads to the following 3 tiers:
> Tier 1 = DCL
> Tier 2 = Java, Python
> Tier 3 = PHP, Perl


I'll go with that in the absence of better data.

Thanks to everyone for your replies. It was interesting seeing
your reasoning.

Thanks,

Simon.
Arne Vajhøj (01-10-19, 03:04 AM)
On 1/9/2019 7:54 PM, Simon Clubley wrote:
> On 2019-01-08, Arne Vajhøj <arne> wrote:
>> The support/interest for PHP and Perl seems more limited.

> Probably because the languages are more limited, especially PHP
> which I have not really seen used outside of website development.


Perl can be used for many things. From ops automation to web. But
it is not so much in fashion.

PHP is almost entirely web (web pages or web services). But I don't
know if that makes it "limited" in 2018.

Arne
Simon Clubley (01-10-19, 04:19 AM)
On 2019-01-09, Arne Vajhøj <arne> wrote:
> On 1/9/2019 7:54 PM, Simon Clubley wrote:
> Perl can be used for many things. From ops automation to web. But
> it is not so much in fashion.
> PHP is almost entirely web (web pages or web services). But I don't
> know if that makes it "limited" in 2018.


I use "limited" in the sense of what you can use Perl/PHP for when
compared to Python.

Can Perl or PHP be directly integrated into an application in the
same way as Python can ?



If you can, how does the level of integration compare to Python ?

Can you write application specific objects to control your application
and then reference those objects from your Perl/PHP scripts while
directly running the Perl/PHP from within your application ?

Python has another thing going for it over Perl and that is it is
relatively easy to get started with and is much more easier to learn
than Perl. This is one of the reasons Python is being used in some
areas of teaching.

You were correct when you said Python was more popular and there
are multiple reasons for that.

Simon.

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