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Government Programming United Kingdom

One-a-Day-Compiles: Good Enough For Government Work In 1983 230

theodp (442580) writes "Simon Allardice takes a stroll down coding memory lane, recalling that when he got started in programming in 1983, hand-writing one's programs with pencil on IBM coding sheets was still considered good enough for British government work (COBOL, Assembler forms). Allardice writes, 'And when you were finished handwriting a section of code — perhaps a full program, perhaps a subroutine — you'd gather these sheets together (carefully numbered in sequence, of course) and send them along to the folks in the data entry department. They'd type it in. And the next day you'd get a report to find out if it compiled or not. Let me say that again: the next day you could find out if your code compiled or not.' So, does anyone have 'fond' memories of computer programming in the punched card era? And for you young'uns, what do you suppose your C++ or Java development times would be like if you got one compile a day?" The other way you could program in 1983.
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One-a-Day-Compiles: Good Enough For Government Work In 1983

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  • In the late 70s (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 30, 2014 @12:28PM (#46880421)

    We started with two languages. One was APL\360 which was interactive and fast for debugging. The other was FORTRAN IV on punched cards, which was an overnight batch sort of thing. I still think APL was far better, once you could wrap your head around the mathematical details it entailed. With APL, it was always better and faster (in programmer time and processor time) to work in parallel with array operations than to break them into loops of scalar operations like you'd have to do with FORTRAN..

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