So, I am in a department of 25 people, all working with coding sheets, until one day, a couple of terminals appear. They are put in the middle of the department, so each person has to schedule time to use one. This is when I first used TSO seriously, using both the command line and the menu-based SPF function, I learned what Partitioned Data Sets were, and how to create files online and allocate space. The main reason to use them was that you could extract a program from the Librarian tool, edit it in TSO and then put it back in Librarian; look ma, no punch cards!. This led to the first "religious war" I saw; if you used Librarian in batch mode, it would track all the changes made to the code, providing a history of changes over time. However, if you used TSO, that updated code would be placed back in Librarian like it was a new program, no history recorded. Well, people were aghast that the history was going to be lost, how could you debug a program with knowing that history, etc. etc.
The fact that I don't remember if I cared one way or the other is the first indication that I have almost never "chosen sides" in debates like this. I might express an opinion, or actually be the analyst defining the pros and cons, but once a decision was made, I was never the person who would be whining 6 months later "we should have done it the other way..." You gotta go with what's been decided, otherwise it's time to move on.
In this case, TSO updating won out and Librarian was phased out over a couple of years. The corollary technique to change history was commenting your program code, inserting text at regular intervals to describe what the program was doing; so, it was decided that significant changes be noted as comments too.
What this led to was a need for more terminals. Over time, we got enough to have one for every two people. It sat on a swivel table between desks, so you could move it to use it when you had something to enter; the other person would do other work until their turn with the terminal came up again. This would still be in the early 80â€™s, just before a big new project that would change how we worked some more...
Next Time: A new development project