What if all these COBOL statements had been kept, but would have instead run much slower, because on the new COBOL version their meaning had extended and many new checks were necessary?
There was a *little* of that... it wasn't so much that code ran slower, but the amount of memory that was taken up by the reserved levels (77 level, if I recall correctly... it was a *long* time ago...) did increase, which had it's own set of side effects.
But I'll at least grant that we had prior warnings, and did receive a transformation guide from IBM
And probably had to pay BIG money to get this "excellent" service.
In some places IBM is still best remembered as the company that made typewriters which came with a service contract that guaranteed they were replaced or repaired within 24 hours. They broke down a lot, but were repaired/replaced even faster. The price of the service oontract was such that you actually paid for a new machine every two years!
Wonderful piece of company PR: how to turn bad quality and expensive servicing into a strong selling point!
At least we don't have that with Open Source!
"If you have four groups working on a compiler, you'll get a 4-pass compiler." - Conway's Law