Some days, ideas for this blog seem to flow like water ... and then there are the days like today.
What to talk about? Well, for openers a quick thank you to Mihael Schmidt and Aaron Bartell for pointing out some of the tools we missed in our recent review of the world of RPG-oriented Open Source software which appeared in last month's EXTRA. If you don't subscribe to EXTRA (and you should!) you can find the original article here and Mihael and Aaron's comments here. Thanks, guys. We won't elaborate on why these particular gems were omitted from the original list as we've already done our groveling in the comments section mentioned above.
One comment we haven't yet responded to, until now, was from IBM's Nadir Amra. Nadir pointed out that our comments on IBM's offering, in the area of consuming Web services in RPG, was somewhat disparaging. And, more to the point, that we had apparently missed out on some recent updates that meant that RPG stubs are now generated to make the interface simpler. Guilty as charged. We had completely missed that change, Nadir, and thanks for pointing it out to us. Since the C compiler is still needed though we are however going withhold judgement on the utility of the revised version until we've had time to give it a test drive. We'll report back here, or in EXTRA, when we have had a chance to do that.
The fact that we were completely unaware of this particular update though does highlight an issue that we've encountered a number of times recently -- unknown IBM i enhancements. Maybe the details of this upgrade were published somewhere but we were completely unaware of them -- and we'd known for a while that some changes were in the offing. Yet we still missed them when they happened. If you know of a reliable source for information on these kinds of "between releases" updates please let us know -- 'cos we obviously aren't catching them all.
As we write this, we're in sunny Livonia, MI. Or at least it was sunny when we arrived -- it's dark right now. We're here for the annual MITEC conference and are looking forward to meeting the faithful at tomorrow's gathering of the clans. Our System i Developer colleague Paul Tuohy is here as well so we'll get the chance to catch up on the latest news from his time at COMMON Europe in Milan a couple of weeks ago. If you're at the conference please come up and say "Hi" -- we always enjoy meeting our readers in person. This is always a great event and it makes a nice change to be able to drive to a conference for once. For us, it's a four-and-a-half-hour drive -- longer than we'd normally take but no longer than flying. Wel,l the actual flight is only 30-40 minutes, but when you factor in the drive to/from the airport and all the extra time you have to spend in security screening, etc., it actually turns out to be as fast to drive.
On that subject, we don't know how many of you regularly cross the Canada/U.S. border as we do (or for that matter the U.S./Mexico border) but it always strikes us as strange that you get a much more intensive "grilling" when flying cross border -- with limited luggage -- than you do when driving across with a whole car load of stuff. Guess they have their reasons -- but it does seem odd.
Until next week, go forth and do good things.