Almost a year ago, we wrote about our own RSE feature wish list and many of you responded via the blog.
We recently attended a meeting of TUG, our own local user group, which was held at the IBM Rational Toronto lab. Not surprisingly, the topic was RDP. Actually, in a way it was a bit surprising that the focus was on "just" RDP rather than the more expensive packages/add-ons such as RTC. Kudos to the lab folks for resisting the urge to up-sell!
Out of all of the information covered in that session, the one item that piqued our interest most was the mention of a Web page where ordinary developers can enter and vote on requests for enhancements (RFEs). So we couldn't resist taking a look at the RFEs currently out there for RDP to see how our favorites were faring in the voting and what other requests had been made.
We'll hit a few highlights here, but we strongly encourage those of you who use RSE to visit the site and cast votes for your own favorites and/or even put your personal favorite new/changed feature request in for consideration. You'll need to create an IBM ID to do this if you don't have one already, but it doesn't require a customer number or serial number or anything like that, so you can set one up very easily.
We looked at the list of the top 20 vote getters for RDP. We're a tad disappointed at how few of our personal favorites were in the list. What we haven't yet done is figure out whether the rest of our favorites have even been requested. If not, we'll be entering some new requests of our own very soon!
Looking at the top 20 by votes, we're gratified to see that one of our favorites--the ability to indent/reformat existing /Free RPG code--is second in the list as of this writing, with 29 votes. We'd especially encourage everyone to vote for this one, even though it's near the top of the list already, don't assume it will stay there. This is one of the most requested features we hear from RSE users and lots of votes could help propel it to a status where IBM will more seriously consider adding it!
On the other hand, we're a bit concerned about the request at the very top of the list--constantly update the Outline View with changes made in the editor. We understand the value of such an enhancement. However, as a few people have pointed out in the comments on this one, there are concerns of the performance impact of such an enhancement. Even if the outline view were to only be updated from local editor changes, which is how the request is currently stated, it could still impact the performance of editing, perhaps dramatically especially for very large source members, given the way the Outline is currently populated. At the very least, if IBM decides to do this one we hope IBM follows the advice as stated in the comments, making it a feature than can be turned on and off, preferably in a very easy way (hint: not searching through hundreds of preferences pages to find the right one!).
We believe this Outline View request is a case of "be careful what you ask for" and encourage any of our readers who may decide to cast a vote for this feature to also add their voices in the comments section that this should be optional and also should only be done if it can be accomplished without noticeable editing performance degradation in medium to large source members.
We are delighted to see that another of our top wish list items is also in the top 10, although we would love to see it even higher than its current No. 7 (as of this writing.) That's the request for RDP to run natively on Mac. Yes! We love our Macs and we love our RDP. If we could run RDP as a native Mac application (without using the Windows virtual machine we currently use), we would be to very happy-- no, ecstatic--campers! We fear this may become a sort of chicken and egg situation. IBM i folks don't use Macs because tools such as RDP don't work natively on Macs. Consequently, they don't request Mac support because it doesn't impact them immediately. Please consider voting for this one, even if you don't use a Mac today. Wouldn't you like the opportunity consider using a more stable and reliable workstation platform--much like the more stable and reliable server platform we all know and love?
A request for SQL prompting is in the top 20--one of the requests that we forgot to put into our original wish list, but were grateful to our readers for pointing out the omission. We're a little surprised it's as far down the list as it is at the moment. If you use embedded SQL and RSE and think this would be helpful, by all means, cast your vote!
The list contains many more very useful features so we could go on and on commenting on other items among (and not among) the top 20 vote getters. But we'll save more comments for another day, another post.
Now, don't just sit there--go out and vote!