Linux

The languages of Debian Wheezy

How many lines of COBOL or Ada do you think make it into a Debian distribution?

It's no surprise that when it comes to languages used within a Linux distribution that C and C++ lead the way, but would you have expected 429 lines of COBOL and 1933 lines of Modula3 to have made their way into the code?

Those are the numbers according to research completed by Perth-based programmer James Bromberger.


(Credit: James Bromberger)

Bromberger used the sloccount tool for his analysis and combined it with COCOMO to arrive at a figure of AU$17 billion for the cost of reproducing Debian Wheezy, but I think that's a better measurement of the FOSS ecosystem than one particular distribution.

I didn't expect to see Java up as high as it is, but NetBeans clocks in at 4.74 million lines of code and is the second biggest package in the distribution after the Linux kernel, which came in at 9.8 million lines of code. The top five packages in terms of lines counted was: the kernel, NetBeans, NWChem (3.96 million), Iceowl (3.44 million), kFreeBSD (3.42 million).

Below is the full table of lines of code per language. Quite a few interesting entries in there.

LanguageLines
ansic168536758 (40.15%)
cpp83187329 (19.82%)
java34698990 (8.27%)
sh28763874 (6.85%)
xml24458251 (5.83%)
python17691564 (4.21%)
perl12309503 (2.93%)
lisp8246909 (1.96%)
fortran6676381 (1.59%)
php5996719 (1.43%)
pascal4578118 (1.09%)
cs4447965 (1.06%)
ruby3803468 (0.91%)
asm3710033 (0.88%)
ml2779990 (0.66%)
tcl2334561 (0.56%)
erlang1530322 (0.36%)
ada1416228 (0.34%)
objc1171118 (0.28%)
haskell1008013 (0.24%)
f90883371 (0.21%)
yacc788120 (0.19%)
lex270993 (0.06%)
exp189250 (0.05%)
jsp103145 (0.02%)
awk85332 (0.02%)
csh45358 (0.01%)
vhdl40343 (0.01%)
sed22236 (0.01%)
modula31933 (0.00%)
cobol429 (0.00%)

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Some would say that it is a long way from software engineering to journalism, others would correctly argue that it is a mere 10 metres according to the floor plan.During his first five years with CBS Interactive, Chris started his journalistic advent...

2 comments
Computer_User_1024
Computer_User_1024

Why do they need to keep COBOL code in the distro any way? Wouldn't it be easier to convert those lines to another language?

brf531
brf531

"And if it is written in COBOL as well, it hasn't the chance of a SNOBOL in Hell!" - Attributed to Gerry Weinberg, probably incorrectly. (SNOBOL became the name of an esoteric string processing language in Bell Labs in the '70s.) I would LOVE to know what those 429 lines of COBOL are doing !! ??