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10/08/2013

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I'm a bit astonished that you are surprised by an enhancement to RPG.

Almost everything provided in previous TRs has been fringe stuff, used by maybe 1-2% of the IBM i customer base. Here's something that will actually be used by a large percentage... upwards of 40%, and you're surprised? Your reaction has really thrown me off... why on earth would this surprise you?

I have fixed the RPG Cafe blog link. Thanks to everyone who pointed it out. --Editor

Scott -- it is not I who was surprised by the RPG announcement. I surmised that others would be surprised by it, since it is so substantial: It is the kind of function we typically have only added via a major release.

Which is what the rest of my paragraph said. I thought. Guess I didn't make it clear.

Another major announcement is the IBM PureFlex Solution for IBM i. Jeff Howard wrote about it in this blog: http://expertintegratedsystemsblog.com/2013/10/spend-more-time-growing-your-business-and-less-time-on-managing-it/

The RPG critics have been saying for years that RPG is a "dead language" and IBM will eventually put the language "out to pasture" like IBM did with OS2. I wrote my first RPG program in 1974 and have been listening to the critics all these years. I remember the days of RPG, System 3 and punched cards with the critics back then all saying that RPG could never run on an interactive device like a CRT. RPG is an effective language for writing business rules - now even running on mobile devices. If RPG could not meet the needs of business, the language would have died a long time ago-pure and simple. The RPG critics say that IBM is just enhancing RPG to protect its customer base already using RPG. D-a-a-a-h: I think Microsoft is releasing new versions of Windows and Apple is releasing new iPhones for its customer base as well. Yes, it is true that if the Power System and RPG were just introduced today, that it would not have the customer base it has today. IBM really wanted the RPG community to mass migrate to Java; for whatever reason, it just did not happen!

I agree with John Polucci - I have been using RPG since the late 60's and I "hate" people who call it a dead language. They are basically bigots for their language of choice, whatever that may be. The purpose of a programming language is to allow the programmer to write code quickly and efficiently, not trying to write code that is so complicated that no one can understand it (or fix it if necessary). The old KISS formula always works best.
On another note, the link to the RPG Cafe blog is not working. I also tried the IBM web site and either they were so bogged down or it wasn't working because I could not connect. I'll try again tomorrow.

Once again IBM misses the mark. Do we really need a prettier syntax? You don't seriously believe that having free form code is going to attract anyone to the platform do you? Coders don't make the buying decisions, executives do. We need real, tangible progress on a native GUI, not some extra bells-and-whistles for programmers only.

Not that I won't use it, since I only write new code in free =) but it isn't going to do anything to increase the number of shops running the i.

Dennis said: You don't seriously believe that having free form code is going to attract anyone to the platform do you? Coders don't make the buying decisions, executives do.

An executive usually has zero ability to know whether one language is better than the other. They mostly only understand whether developers talk favorably about it. Developers will (hopefully) be talking more favorably about RPG as it continues to get modern features.

Will this single feature cause *new* people to come to IBM i? Probably not. But the combination of many things could cause that to happen.

Btw, it's also time to move on from the native GUI argument. Do you honestly think it's going to happen? At what point do we use logical thinking to move away from that argument and start looking at new modernization paths that keep us on IBM i? (btw, some of those paths are 100% RPG). You're beating a dead horse and are being pessimistic. Poor horse and poor you.

AaronBartell.com

While I applaud IBM's efforts to deliver new function sooner, via these Technical Refreshes, I fear that IBM has inadvertently "thrown out the baby with the bathwater" in several respects, especially as it affects ISVs.

If I have a software product I sell and support on V7R1, and if I happen to install any of the TRs for V7R1 on my development system, how can I be sure that I have not used some of the new features and functions in our code, only to find out that it "does not work" on some of our customer's systems, because they may not have installed the same TRs?

This problem will only get worse with the introduction of V7R2, because the Target Release mechanism -- the TGTRLS(*PRV) parameter on the SAVxxx commands, has no way to know if a given feature installed by a TR is used, and so it just saves all of the objects. But, the compiled code may very well depend on certain TRs being installed.

I think this is potentially one major oversight that IBM has not properly thought through, in the rush to introduce these "Technical Refreshes" to get new function out the door sooner.

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