Ulrich Hobelmann <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
| Tom Russ wrote:
| > Unfortunately, I don't have time to elaborate tonight, but it often
| > boils down to Lisp not being popular, leading to management fear of (a)
| > the unknown (b) difficulty in finding lisp programmers to build and
| > especially maintain the system.
| I'm not sure that the above are valid points, given that I've never even
| heard of Mumps (unless it's the name for some kind of disease), nor that
| there exist people who can program it. Lisp is at least known to most
| people, even if they think it's a weird language.
MUMPS [Massachusetts (General Hospital) Utility Multi-Programming System]
is now called simply "M" (the name change came during the ANSI standard-
ization process). <http://www.mcenter.com/mtrc/mfaqhtm1.html#Hist>
has some historical notes. One commercial version was MIIS (Meditech
Interactive Information System); another was DEC PDP-11 MUMPS; there
also are/were several free versions, since it was originally funded by
an NIH(?) grant which required that it be public domain. For quite a
number of years, it was *the* language to use for hospital information
systems, and still has a number of devotees today. For more background,
One of the reasons for its popularity [besides NIH & the VA practically
*mandating* it for a while for funded projects!] was that "global"
variables in MUMPS -- which are a kind of tree-structured associative
array [usually stored as B-trees] -- are actually stored in a database
on disk, one of the earliest (1966) languages with an "implicit object
store" that I know of.
The Wikipedia article <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MUMPS> contains
a lot more of the history, lists key language features, has some
code examples, and a number of frequent criticisms of the language.
Lispers will instantly recognize several of them: ;-}
- "The syntax and terms are dramatically different from C."
- "Unusual control constructs."
- "Skilled programmers are hard to find and even harder to replace
when they retire."
Rob Warnock <email@example.com>
627 26th Avenue <URL:http://rpw3.org/>
San Mateo, CA 94403 (650)572-2607