In a blog post a few weeks ago we mentioned that we had the opportunity to test the beta version of the new RDi support for fully free-form RPG and were impressed by it. We had originally thought it would be well into 2014 before this new support became publicly available, but apparently Santa--in the guise of IBM Rational--has delivered support for the new free format H, F and D specs now. We RPGers must have been very good this year!
The support was released as part of the latest fix pack for RDi. That takes it to version 9.0.1. You can get the details of the fixes and enhancements here and the actual fix pack can be obtained here. Alternatively simply load the Installation Manager and tell it to update the product--that worked for us.
But it's not just about free-format RPG support. Much like letters to Santa, some RDi users have been asking Rational for usability enhancements. And at least four of those requests have been granted--early Christmas presents--as the features requested are included in this new fix pack. You see, we told you it pays to share your suggestions with the folks at Rational! This is done via Requests for Enhancements (RFEs) and we blogged about it quite some time ago. In case you missed it, take a look for the details of how to add your own suggestions to the list.
The RFE enhancements in this fix pack include improvements to the automatic removal of error messages after compiles and enhanced block nesting options. This includes the ability to set the color for the nesting indicators shown by Crtl-Shift-O. This is a small, but useful, change that we like because the old default of black just didn't show up that well.
There are still a few missing features. For example the wizards for D-specs, Java method call and Subprocedures have not yet been released, but frankly we rarely use those so it is not a problem for us. Assumedly these features may be coming in subsequent fix packs. Considering the early indications were that we might have to wait until February for this new support, it is nice to get an early Christmas present! Thanks, Santa!