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Programming is one of the most difficult branches of applied mathematics; the poorer mathematicians had better remain pure mathematicians.
The easiest machine applications are the technical/scientific computations.
The tools we use have a profound (and devious) influence on our thinking habits and therefore on our thinking abilities.
FORTRAN - 'the infantile disorder' by now nearly 20 years old - is hopelessly inadequate for whatever computer application you have in mind today. It is now too clumsy, too risky, and too expensive to use.
PL/I - 'the fatal disease' - belongs more to the problem set than to the solution set.
It is practically impossible to teach good programming to students that have had a prior exposure to BASIC. As potential programmers they are mentally mutilated beyond hope of regeneration.
The use of COBOL cripples the mind. Its teaching should therefore be regarded as a criminal offence.
APL is a mistake carried through to perfection. It is the language of the future for the programming techniques of the past. It creates a new generation of coding bums.
The problems of business administration in general and data base management in particular are much too difficult for people that think in IBMerese compounded with sloppy English.
About the use of language: it is impossible to sharpen a pencil with a blunt axe. It is equally vain to try to do it with ten blunt axes instead.
Besides a mathematical inclination an exceptionally good mastery of one's native tongue is the most vital asset of a competent programmer.
Many companies that have made themselves dependent on IBM equipment (and in doing so sold their soul to the devil) will collapse under the sheer weight of the unmastered complexity of their data processing systems.
Simplicity is prerequisite for reliability.
We can found no scientific discipline nor hearty profession on the technical mistakes of the Department of Defense and mainly one computer manufacturer.
The use of anthropomorphic terminology when dealing with computing systems is a symptom of professional immaturity.
By claiming that they can contribute to software engineering the soft scientists make themselves even more ridiculous. (Not less dangerous alas.) In spite of its name software engineering requires (cruelly) hard science for its support.
In the good old days physicists repeated each other's experiments just to be sure. Today they stick to FORTRAN so they can share each other's programs bugs included.
Projects promoting programming in 'natural language' are intrinsically doomed to fail.