Q: What is the oldest computer program still in use?
omnisdev at healthcareinfopartners.com
Wed Jun 1 15:39:54 EDT 2016
Allow me to make some corrections in the expression below about MUMPS.
MUMPRS (also known as “M”) was NOT written for the Veterans Administration (VA), but instead as a universal programing language to tackle the need of Electronic Medical Records back in the late 1960’s, AND WAS WRITTEN in, and for, the Massachusetts General Hospital. MUMPS stands for “Massachusetts General Hospital Utility Multi-Programming System”. Today you can still find two main flavors of MUMPS; InterSystems Caché, and GT.M.
MUMPS began as a rare beast since it was like an operating system (like Unix), an interpreted programing language (like Omnis) plus a database; all in one. You booted a Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) PGP-9 and the first and only thing that came to screen was MUMPS. Later versions separated the operating system component from the rest, so now there are versions that run atop of Linux, Windows, Mac OS, etc.
As a database, it is “mostly hierarchical”, and beats the heck of any of today’s SQL-based RDBMS’s by tens of times; even if you load the RDBMS database into RAM and MUMPS is still reading from disk.
Unfortunately, MUMPS did not keep up with times and until it was to late, nobody built a nice GUI or Rapid Application Development (RAD) for it. Hence, newer languages like C++ and Java overtook the market with much less capable RDBMS’s (who had millions of dollars in marketing behind them.)
How do I know all this..? Well. For starters, I learned MUMPS programing decades ago and even worked under one of its creators (Bob Greenes, MD, PhD). Yes, a medical doctor (amongst other Medical Doctors like G. Octo Barnett, MD, John Papalardos and Curtis Marble) - all fathers to the beast in one way or the other - only they know the true story… All I can say is that I worked with Greenes (it was like a religious experience) and also spent a small time with Barnett (awe inspiring).
If only Omnis had become a RAD to MUMPS instead than to Pick D3, I BET Omnis’s history would have been very different. You see, many of the top electronic health records (EHR) in the world run and/or are built on MUMPS; and nobody can tell me that there are more complex systems that an EHR; and they will become even more complex.
Best to all,
Richie Piovanetti, MD
> On Jun 1, 2016, at 1:19 AM, Stephen Miller <stephenmiller1958 at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi Guys
> For bang for buck and broad reach in the world - after Bletchley Park, of
> course, my suggestion:
> Mumps 1966 - Written for VA in the US. I believe Mumps is still the core
> of the VA system although I know a descendant of Mumps - Intersystem's
> Cache - has the contract to replace it. The Mumps code was released to the
> public domain as a result of DVA Freedom of Information request. As a
> result this core is used in many state based public health systems around
> the world. The VA in the US has a demo app you can download and test
> against their test harness.
> On 1 June 2016 at 11:22, Kim Sumner <tech at corporate-windows.com.au> wrote:
>> Well there's this of course:
>> Makes me glad that I'm geographically a long long way from the main arena
>> (especially with the imminent "Donald" threat...)
>> Kim Sumner
>> Corporate Windows Pty Ltd, AUSTRALIA
>> Tel: + 61-3-5338-8232
>> Mobile: 0419-561-496
>> Skype: corpwin
>> Web: http://www.corporate-windows.com
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> Kind Regards,
> Stephen Miller
> +61 (0)467 898010
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