From: Philippe Verdy (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Wed Jul 19 2006 - 16:55:55 CDT
From: "Jony Rosenne" <email@example.com>
> EBCDIC is still common in large organizations requiring high performance and
> reliability and equipped with millions of lines of legacy code, such as
> banks and government.
True, but this remains used locally on those systems or between instances of those systems; for external interfaces to the web, I have not seen EBCDIC used since extremely long. And the same systems are also running new apps written without EBCDIC (and not even with special support for it).
Performance is really not an issue here. whever the text is EBCDIC- or ISO646-based does not change the performance (in fact most applications don't care about which encoding is used, and the old C1 controls are no longer used, even in databases, except for terminal protocols like TN3270).
The millions of lines of code (COBOL, Fortran, DataTran...) also don't care much about the encoding used. What they do is to perform the business logic when handling database requests and reports. The effective code that cares about communicaton protocols is extremely limited face to the business logic, and most of this is part of the OS itself, or provided as add-on supportezd by IBM (where it is available in both EBCDIC and ISO646-based environments).
Even in military environments the outdated systems have been replaced (dsimply because they cost much less to administrate, and don't require the expensive computers rooms with controled hygrometry and temperature, which would be better used by computer farms like in colocation areas).
Do you mean that punching cards and 8 inch magnetic tapes are still used, given the bad performance of those devices, and the cost of their storage (physical size) the regular replacement by new tapes, and the ridiculous performance/energy ratio, plus handling costs?
I've seen old mainframes disappearing everywhere, including in banks and military computing centers (and this is now accelerated by the fact that these organizations have now difficulties to hire people trained to those environments, when many are getting retired, and when resources are mutualized or externalized between banks.
There may still exist dynosaurs, but you'll find them in US (for example at NYSE, which is one of the rare place of the world where trading is not completely computerized : almost all European and Asian trading places are fully computerized, the old trading place have become museums, and trading is now delocalized and can communicate with networks similar to Internet in terms of technologies; in France, those places are now out of Paris, and do not require such concentration of traders in expensive places, and they employ people in various deconcentrated areas supplied by external service providers, there's more redundancy, no single point of failure, more competition between service providers, and increased security and stability; millions of lines of code have been thrown, and this was accelerated by concentration of banks throughout Europe and reforms in their management).
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