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Something of a shallow look into why it's still around. Part of it is that it's not just COBOL, but the ecosystem around it that makes it harder to port. Porting over a COBOL program from MVS, OS/400, MPE, etc, also requires porting over the surrounding stuff. Job schedulers, record (vs stream) based files, monitoring, print formats, character encodings, 3270 screen formats, and so on.

It also requires porting something quite intangible over, too. In the days that COBOL was relevant, we took a very long time to write software, and we did a mostly competent job at it.

These days, even if we were using COBOL, we probably wouldn't have as robust and reliable results.

"Move fast and break things" honestly has me sold, unless it's my bank account. Many of the people who know COBOL move slow and don't do halfjobs.

Seems like a lot of that could be emulated or made part of a virtual machine

Technically, yes. Legally, no. See the Hercules emulator for example.

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