A Survey of Computer Programming Languages
(DoD Language Survey)
6. Recommendation


Accepting the number of 450 or more general purpose programming languages in use in the 1970s, we can see considerable progress has been made by the Military Departments and Agencies in reducing the number to 37 in major systems that are new or being modernized. Yet the survey indicates that a substantial legacy of applications remain that use older versions of programming languages, vendor-unique languages, and military-defined languages. The maintenance costs for these applications could be reduced and their reliability increased by converting these applications to a current version of a Federal Information Processing Standard language. Automated conversion methods should offer a cost-effective technology to facilitate this conversion. Re-engineering these applications in another language is also a cost reduction opportunity. Redundant code can be eliminated, software components can be re-used, and modern off-the-shelf programming tools can be used to improve maintainability and reliability.

Consequently, we recommend that Service and Defense Agency Program Managers regularly review their software applications to identify a migration strategy and plan for upgrading them to current versions of standards-based versions of languages and modern labor-saving tools. The progress in reducing the number of languages used, as shown in this survey, indicates that further reduction should be possible. Indeed, we recognize that several migration efforts are already ongoing now.

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Appendix A Appendix B References
Acronyms Figures Tables