[vcf-midatlantic] COBOL: vintage vs. legacy code

Evan Koblentz evan at vcfed.org
Thu Jun 1 15:25:45 EDT 2017


> FWIW, I was in a code review this week for a few hundred bytes of assembly code.  The number of people fluent in assembly at the company is very small, but this product sells several hundred thousand units a year and is very important.  The code was in C using a highly optimizing compiler but it couldn’t quite squeeze the code enough once a new feature was added, and going to a slightly larger processor with more RAM (32 bytes) was about four cents more per chip, so switching to assembly was the best approach.
> 
> Not all computers have 2 TB disk and 32 GB RAM.  When you need to save a few bytes, assembly is your friend.

True story: I was talking on the phone just now with a high-level 
Z-Systems software executive at IBM, who said (unprodded by me), "If you 
really want to be efficient, go make sure you use the exact right 
assembler instruction code to get the most out of the system."



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