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Summary and Comments

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Category: 

No_Silver_Bullet

Date: 

1997-07-28 16:17:31

Subject: 

Programmer Shows Why Silver Bullet Is Impossible

Comment: 

David Eddy is a 15-year veteran of mainframe programming. In this posting, he responds to an optimist who dreams of a silver bullet. Forget it, he says.

The earlier posting is marked by carets: >

* * * * * * * * * * *

Date: Wed, 23 Jul 1997 14:20:54 -0400 (EDT)
To: year2000-discuss@year2000.com
From: "David Eddy (Software Sales Group, Inc.)"
Subject: Re: Opinion: Doom & Gloom: FIX

>Let's concentrate in finding a 'fix' <

That sort of statement is part of the problem... there is no "A FIX". We've been furiously building complex (software) systems for 40+ years & in most cases there are no user manuals or schematic diagrams that the current owners/maintainers can refer to as to the intent or inner workings of many of these systems.

Hard work is the answer, but in many corporate cultures (particularly in the context of dealing with legacy systems) this is not an acceptable answer. "Give me the silver bullet" is the only acceptable answer.

>I firmly believe that the solution is out there, somewhere inside a vault within the software industry. <

Dream on.

If the world were 80% IBM mainframe COBOL then there is significant hope for THE SOLUTION appearing from the creative minds of dedicated & creative individuals (stay tuned).

But the world is a whole lot messier than just IBM/COBOL.

To state once again, the world is populated with something like:

15,000 IBM MVS mainframes
40,000 IBM DOS/VSE midrange
400,000+ IBM AS400s
500,000+ DEC VAXs
(leaving out Tandem, Wang, Xerox, Data General, Prime, Perkin-Elmer, dozens of other manufacturors & then there are embeded systems).

So sitting back waiting for the mythical silver bullet is highly counter productive... which is why lots of techies are very frustrated... they want to get working, but are still being told to hold back/wait. Time's a wasting.

BTW... I do not consider myself a doom & gloomer.

Wearing a seatbelt is realism, not pessimism.


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