Dijkstra - was: [Oberon] Reiser - Wirth book
firewevr at airmail.net
Mon Oct 4 17:30:34 MEST 2010
This reminds me of Dijkstra's rather famous 1968 letter to
/Communications of the ACM/ "Go To Statement Considered Harmful" in
which he argues for structured control statements. But he does not
mention COBOL in it. (COBOL still sucks, BTW)
I also found this other link to his collected writings.
On 2010-10-04 11:45, Duke Normandin wrote:
> On Mon, 4 Oct 2010, Treutwein Bernhard wrote:
>> Hi Bob,
>>> Good luck with that. Experience has taught me that Dijkstra
>>> was right about COBOL.
>> just curious, what did Dijkstra say about COBOL, I know his nice sentence:
>> The tools we use hav a profound (and devious!)
>> influence on our thinking.
> Here's a quote from Wikipedia:
> Lack of structurability
> In his letter to an editor in 1975 titled "How do we tell truths that
> might hurt?", which was critical of several programming languages
> contemporaneous with COBOL, computer scientist and Turing Award
> recipient Edsger Dijkstra remarked that "The use of COBOL cripples the
> mind; its teaching should, therefore, be regarded as a criminal
> In his dissenting response to Dijkstra's article and the above
> "offensive statement", computer scientist Howard E. Tompkins defended
> structured COBOL: "COBOL programs with convoluted control flow indeed
> tend to 'cripple the mind'", but this was because "there are too many
> such business application programs written by programmers that have
> never had the benefit of structured COBOL taught well...".
> Additionally, the introduction of OO-COBOL has added support for
> object-oriented code as well as user-defined functions and
> user-defined data types to COBOL's repertoire.
More information about the Oberon