Jonathan Bush on Fortune, referring to Epic: “The Cleveland Clinic has software that they had to pay $200 million to get. It was written in MUMPS in 1974. There is nobody left alive who can write MUMPS any more. That’s the model … the curve of innovation, the disruptive technology engine in healthcare is broken.” (hat tip to HIStalk)

My first programming job was in 1974 building a MUMPS system and I did several years of work on a clinical system in late 1980s and early 1990s. MUMPS is an interesting language, and shares some characteristics with GemStone/S. It is a dynamic language (originally interpreted) and the execution environment includes a built-in database. The database is hierarchal rather than relational, and values put in the database are untyped. While MUMPS does not have true closures, it does have the ability to pass blocks of code and the pattern of passing code to subroutines is common.

I wonder if GemStone/S could be the disruptive technology for healthcare software…

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