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seen May 14 at 20:26

comment Why is Visual Basic easier to learn than Java for COBOL developers?
I'm not sure the dates are terribly important. C was influenced by ALGOL, FORTRAN, BCPL, CPL, and B.
comment Other than for legacy software, are there reasons for using COBOL?
I am given to understand, from talking with PeopleSoft reps at an IT conference back in 2004 before Oracle acquired them, that it was at that time only one module of the product that was still in COBOL.
comment Good uses for VBScript?
I still use it for scripting, but you are indeed correct that PowerShell is a much better replacement.
comment Why the scorn for COBOL?
Before getting too wrapped up in Gartner, go over to Gartner.com, register a free account, go to the Research tab, and search on the keyword COBOL. You get summaries and a keyword snippet, and you have to sift to find something that really intuits. However, it seems clear that Gartner is quietly pushing businesses to move off COBOL as they appear to see COBOL as winding down.