Why Clarion? - Part two

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Again I ask, "Why Clarion?"


I wrote my first program in 1966. It was a very simple program designed to teach me to program. I wrote it in Autocoder for the IBM 1401. By 1974 I had written programs in assembler, and COBOL, in addition. From '74 to '95 I spent a fair amount of time teaching people to program and manage projects and also writing programs.


When I started programming in COBOL in 1970 or '71 I fell in love. I know it's not popular to say you liked programming in COBOL but I did. I liked it because it worked the way I thought about programming. That is, First you defined your data and then you used it to write your program. Also, it allowed the programmer to spend most of his time dealing with the user/client's needs rather than with the computer's needs.

Some liked assembler. They liked being close to the guts of the computer. Others liked languages like C (yes there was an A and a B). I never did. I actually was never interested in the lines of code. Rather I was always interested in solving user problems and COBOL allowed by to do that.


In '77 I got a TRS-80 and, like everyone, wrote programs in Basic but I kept looking for a personal computer language that would allow me to spend my time solving problems rather than coding. In '84, I believe, I came across a language called Selector which kind of did that but it was not very popular and for a while I gave up on ever finding a language I liked. Then in 1988 I came across Clarion. This was Clarion for DOS (no Windows and certainly no mouse). I loved it. Everything I loved about COBOL was there and more. I could spend my time solving user needs rather than writing code.


By '92 I had written a bunch of programs and then had an opportunity to go virtually full-time into writing in Clarion. Around '95 I started writing in an early version of Clarion for Windows and I've never looked back... Except for this article. As I've said Clarion works for me. When I'm working in it I rarely am spending time thinking about the computer's need. I spend all my time focused on the needs and wants of the user, the client.


I'll give you an example. A client recently said to me he wanted a modification to his software. He wanted to start storing his customer's credit card information for automatic billing. Typically he wanted the salesmen to get the credit card information but once they had entered the info, he only wanted the administrative and billing staff to have access to that info. So how do I let the salesmen enter the information and yet prevent them from seeing after that? Simple. And a couple hours later it was finished, tested, and implemented.


That's why Clarion works for me. But that's only one example so here's another.  Back in '98, I believe, a client wanted me to create a website where my client's customers could go to pick up their current reports. This client produced hundreds of reports per day for their customers and they wanted to use the web as the distribution medium.


We not only completed that project but have been modifying over the years as the client adds new features to their reports. What started out being used by a handful of their customers is now used by about 2500 different users all over the country. It works 24/7 year-after-year and all written in Clarion.


Do you have a favorite language? Tell me about it and tell me why you love it.

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This page contains a single entry by Drew Bourrut published on August 24, 2009 8:46 AM.

Why Clarion? was the previous entry in this blog.

Cloud Computing does not compute is the next entry in this blog.

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