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July 30, 2007


Carmen Nuland

If you look at RPG II and then ILE RPG Free, they look nothing alike! So, I guess the question is, did RPG "assimilate" other languages, or did the language become a shape-shifter like "Mystique" (X-Men)?


simply iRPG works for me.

Phil G

Rational Program Generator. This way the abbreviation remains the same. I've noticed that we use as400, iSeries, and System i interchangeably, sometimes in the same sentence, depending on other words in the sentence. This is probably interesting for linguists but confusing for most of the audience.

Elvis B.

NDBL - Native Database Language.
I foresee a future where Oracle, SQL Server, mySQL will "enhance" SQL to allow for record-at-a-time processing akin to RPG. They will of course market the hell out of this "new" technology. Why not beat them to it?

Scott Klement

Haven't we learned anything from IBM's previous experience with name changes? The users don't like it. They continue calling the product by the old name forever. It does nothing to change the image of the product. Am I being too cynical?


f-RPG for free-form RPG.

Gene Burns

Business Development Language?

Jon Paris

Scott said "f-RPG for free-form RPG."

I like it, but I'm rather afraid that some naughty minded folks at Rational would use the "f" bit against us Scott.

Jon Paris

Scott said "f-RPG for free-form RPG."

I like it, but I'm rather afraid that some naughty minded folks at Rational would use the "f" bit against us Scott.


Why rename it? Are we suffering from inferiority complex? Rebranding leads to one thing ... confusion. This is the case with the AS/400 (or whatever it's name is) and it will be the case with RPG.

Jeff Stevens

Well, I like the idea of free in it. So, what about iFree?

Jon Paris

David said: "Why rename it? Are we suffering from inferiority complex?"

I guess you could put it this way ... but a lot of old-time RPGers don't like even the bit of /Free-form we have today and claim "That's not RPG" - if you consider that any new version would be:

a) Completely free-form and

b) Would drop many of the obsolete elements of the language.

Don't you think that the vast majority of people would consider it a new langauge?

David Conn

What's wrong with just "i" or maybe "i do"

Dave R.

Let's just leave it alone - I agree with the people who said it's confusing and irritating to keep renaming things.


Taking a page out the unix world where it is common to use abstract names for almost everything, I'd like to suggest we name rename RPG to Sizzle.

Jerry Adams

No matter what one calls it, those outside of the midrange community will simply chortle and say, "Oh, that's just RPG in a new dress." But an attempt must be made; no cannot continually bend to the naysayers.

My preference, therefore, is RPG V. Regardless of the features added or deprecated, RPG V reinforces both the continuity of the language and its evolving process. It refuses to hide from its past, and points to its future.

If one must come up with something brand new and be an acronym, something along the lines of DPL or DBPL (Database Programming Language) would be in the ballpark. Or JON (Jampacked, Objective and New -or- Juicy, Objective, and Network-Ready).

Alan Campin

Someone wrote an article recently suggesting an RPG name change and they suggested the name of DB2EASY. That kind of sticks with you.

Jon Paris

So far no-one has taken up the notion of including just the "R" to stand for RPG (which is where we started with the BORG notion).

Of course with PHP it is the same set of letters - so if we stay RPG - then what do the P and G stand for? Way back during the RPGIV design phase we had jokingly associated them with P(rogramming) G(ospel).


Well I would have first ask if the language will only be available on the System i or not. If it's only the System i, then why rename it? However, if you really want to then I'd suggest RPG-free or RPG VI. Now the little critter on my other shoulder suggests iKickButt, but I don't vouch for him.

Jon Paris

C. Ross said:
" ... will only be available on the System i or not"

That's another interesting question. If it were to only use embedded SQL for example and no native I/O it could certainly go multi-platform but if native I/O is part of the spec then porting is a very different matter since the underlying OS support doesn't exist.

C. Ross said: "RPG VI"

Whatever happened to RPG V - or are we skipping that one to show rapid progress? Or perhaps the intent is that it is "VI" as in 6 for Power 6?


An alternative would be a program creation command that fails when the code contains any of the old features.

If they want to also refresh the language when they refresh the name, I suggest they eliminate the F spec so as to require developers to use SQL.

I have a long list of what needs to be removed from the language. How many keywords does RPG have? Java has only 50.

Dave Smith

I personally think IBM missed a trick not naming free format as RPG V.

Or if anyone are really interested in trying to impress the gullible, how about Phoenix. A brand new shiny toy risen from the ashes of that nasty olde RPG...?

Barbara Morris

I would hate to have "free" in any new name for RPG. "free RPG" only makes sense in the context of "non-free RPG". It's the RPG-ness of RPG that should be important, not the free-ness.

If a fully free-form RPG comes out, I think it would be cool to drop the versioning, and call it just plain RPG. All the previous language versions had a different syntax; using RPG V would imply that this is just another stage in the changing syntax of RPG. By calling it simply RPG, it would (in my dreams?) imply that RPG had reached its final syntax.

But maybe that's not possible; the first RPG (which makes RPG II look like natural language) was already called RPG - there was no RPG I.


(P.S. It's really hard to tell who made what comment here. The line above the name makes it look like the person made the comment below the name, not above it. For instance, it wasn't Scott who made the comment about f-RPG, it was Winston.)

Rory Hewitt

Jerry Adams said:

"No matter what one calls it, those outside of the midrange community will simply chortle and say, "Oh, that's just RPG in a new dress." But an attempt must be made; no cannot continually bend to the naysayers."...

Those outside of the midrange community will continue to say what they've always said: "What's RPG? Oh, it's a programming language. How come I've never heard of it?"

Why rename it? It works, and even with some new UI options, my guess is that it will still be the same basic language, with the same opcodes, functionality etc.

Maybe IBM will force us to use the IFS rather than source members, but my guess is that it will still basically look like RPG...

I guess RPG V works, but if you name it that, people will still just "call" it RPG anyway.


Joe McDonald

The name RPG is just fine. Original names have worked quite well to the present day, such as UPS, Xerox, FedEx, Honda, Greyhound... although they have changed and improved.

By renaming RPG to RPG II…RPG IV was some what a mistake. Instead of extending the brand RPG should have been left as the category and brand in peoples mind. We do not see UPS II, or Kleenexes IV. There was a reason, companies left the name as the category and now the brand. This leads to incredible marketing techniques.
“hand me a Kleenexes”
“just Xerox it”
“UPS it”
“Absolutely, positively, has to be …”

Hopefully someday instead of Querying it we can simply say “leave the driving to us” and RPG it!

Regardless, what is needed is a nice logo as found in Apache, mySql, PHP, Java and not to forget UPS, FedEx, Honda, Sears...

“The 22 immutable Laws of Branding” ISBN 0-06-000773-7

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