Issue No. 02 - Apr.-Jun. (2018 vol. 40)
Ben Allen , Stanford University
The English-like business programming language COBOL saw widespread use from its introduction in 1960 well into the 1980s, despite being disdained by computer science academics. This article traces out decisions made during COBOLs development, and argues that its English-like appearance was a rhetorical move designed to make the concept of code itself more legible to non-programming management at computer-using companies.
business data processing, COBOL, software engineering
B. Allen, "Common Language: Business Programming Languages and the Legibility of Programming," in IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 40, no. 2, pp. 17-31, 2018.