Couple of things worth responding to here:

  1. I love mainframes. I did not once use the term dinosaur and disparage legacy technology so stop projecting.
  2. IBM’s naming conventions are genuinely silly and confusing. The term “data set” refers to a broad collecting of constructs that have wildly different behavior and purposes. Just because it was an early name for a concept does not make it any less a shitty name for a concept. IGYWCL is another good example of this … why is it called that? Does it stand for something? No. Is it clear what it is, what it’s doing from the name? No. These things are necessary evils with mainframes because much of mainframe business is running old software. Given the choice between clear language and consistent language I’d rather have consistent language, but let’s not fool ourselves into suggesting that a naming convention that sucks but needs to be maintained for backward compatibility is actually a good naming convention just because it’s old.
  3. The mainframe community’s biggest problem right now is that it has no idea how to handle contributions from younger generations without assuming offense, letting deep insecurities run wild and going on the war path over the silliest issues. Phil Young, who is an expert in z/OS security, has blogged pretty regularly about this problem.
  4. If you spent less time getting worked up over your assumption that I was making fun of you and your profession you might have noticed that I opened this post with a story about how an interface that seemed straight forward and obvious to me was overwhelming and confusing to my less technical colleagues. You might then have realized that the point I was attempting to make is that File->Open is intuitive because it is familiar and that z/OS’s interface is difficult because it is built on paradigms that are both unfamiliar and in many cases not physically present anymore in the workflow (ie- punch cards). In other words: you might have noticed that I agree completely 100% with what you came here to say. But alas, typical of this community, it was more important to whine about how no one respects you and try to discourage new people from learning about mainframes.

Author of Kill It with Fire Manage Aging Computer Systems (and Future Proof Modern Ones)

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