Re: programming in PL/I

Robert AH Prins <>
Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:20:34 +0000

          From comp.compilers

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From: Robert AH Prins <>
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:20:34 +0000
Organization: Compilers Central
References: 12-01-009 12-01-010 12-01-013 12-01-017
Keywords: PL/I
Posted-Date: 14 Jan 2012 15:12:02 EST

On 2012-01-12 16:30, wrote:
> On Thu Jan 12 07:18:12 2012 wrote:
>> Is there a reason to prefer PL/I over C++ or Java?
> Yes, several. It would be more relevant to ask if PL/I is preferable
> to C since PL/I is not an object oriented language, is suitable for
> systems programming (usually has but does not necessarily require a
> runtime), does not have garbage collection, implementations don't use
> a VM, etc.
> People coming from IBM environments usually don't have any C
> experience but often do have a reasonable working knowledge of PL/I
> or at least exposure to it. PL/I is more powerful than C, is older,
> has good optimizing compilers available,

The IBM PL/I for Windows compiler generates code that is in many cases
no better than the code generated by the likes of Turbo Pascal V3, and
even the code generated by IBM's Enterprise PL/I compiler for z/OS
leaves a lot to be desired. (Disclaimer, I don't have access to anything
after Enterprise PL/I V3R7, current is V4R2, so things may have improved)

> and I personally prefer it. About the only advantage of C over PL/I
> is C usually has some provision for dropping into assembler. PL/I
> doesn't offer this feature. As usual, it comes down to what tools
> are available on your target platforms and what you prefer.

Robert AH Prins

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