Well, we installed 8.5 and while there was at least one really major new feature we liked, we also encountered a few idiosyncrasies that gave us some problems. In particular if a connection dropped while we had source files open, it took forever to get the workbench back in action as you had to respond to a seemingly endless series of connection-related dialogs. None of them offering the option to work off-line, etc. Admittedly we are perhaps unusual in that we often travel to a client site, connect to their system, and then go back to our hotel with the sources still open, knowing that we will be back on site next day. Once we open up the laptop again it can take 10 to 15 minutes to regain control. There were other issues, but to be honest, neither of us can remember exactly what those were. We're also not sure whether they were new features that we just needed to learn how to utilize properly or whether they were bugs. We also saw several reports on the WDSC-L list on Midrange.com and other places of other people who were having trouble with 8.5.
Bottom line, we are both so addicted to using RDP for our development that we decided to postpone digging into it for a while. Fortunately, we had also kept our old installation of RDP 8.0.3 so it was an option for us to keep on working with that version.
The good news is that a fix pack for RDP 8.5 has recently become available. So maybe it's time that we give 8.5.1 a try and see if it works better for us than our earlier attempts at 8.5.
Another reason for postponing the use of the new release is that we didn't have a really burning requirement for the only significant new feature that we heard about in the community--a dynamically updated Outline View. It's a nice feature, to be sure, but since we don't work as much with very large programs, occasionally refreshing our Outline Views isn't exactly a huge burden.
And we also had real difficulty finding a good list of any other enhancements in 8.5 that would cause us to want to dive in right away. We have now found such a list on developerWorks and thought we'd share with you, just in case some of you are also postponing the upgrade. So here it is--courtesy of Dave Dykstal--a nicely detailed list of new features, complete with link to a video of the RPG Outline View enhancements by Edmund Reinhardt.
But wait, that's not all! (sounds a bit like a late night infomercial, doesn't it?). The 8.5.1 fix pack includes several new features, not just bug fixes. You can read all about the 8.5.1 fixes and enhancements here. Spoiler alert: any IBM i COBOL programmers out there may want to pay particular attention to the Outline View in 8.5.1, according to this list. They have waited a long time for a usable Outline View, and it looks like their patience has been rewarded.
Maybe in a future blog post, we'll report on our findings of all the cool new things we've experienced in 8.5.1. As soon as we're both able to get the fix pack installed, that is. Jon's update to 8.5.1 worked flawlessly, but Susan seems to have hit a (hopefully temporary) snag.
In the meantime, any of you who have used 8.5 or 8.5.1, please feel free to share your experiences in the comments.