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August 08, 2012


Nathan Andelin

I'm setting up a new server and just opened the package with the AMT CDs, yesterday. Thanks for the tip about mapping PDM commands to AMT commands.

Jean Mikhaleff

Regarding your article, AMTS PDM without PDM, I recognize the new RPG functionalities and many other enhancements.
I know that you are against light client because I still remember your article “Not Wanted: That Kind of native RPG Browser Support” in April 13,2005.
However, now we have more and more the choice between heavy client/server solutions and real Cloud Computing solutions like Google Aps. Now many customers think that Google is our future.
Regarding the architecture only, RDP is a heavy Microsoft client/server solution.
To open a IBM i Access session, I need only internet, the IP address, a profile and a password. I can have 4 or more thin client sessions opened dynamically at the same time, each of them working like a real virtual computer. To switch from one to the other I just click once on it with a mouse. If you think that each session share programs and data and is natively multi-users, you must consider that heavy Microsoft client is an architecture of the past. IBM i Access seems to be closer to Google Cloud Solutions.
A heavy architecture from the past + a limited PDM named AMT is a kind of monstrosity to hide awkwardly an architectural weakness.
Why not a native thin web Cloud UI directly? Have you changed your mind, Jon?
However, once again, thank you for the new functionalities we have with RDP.

Jon Paris

@Jean - Multiple points, multiple responses.

First the "Not Wanted" piece was as much about the lack of attention to facts and abysmal examples as it was the browser aspect. I agree though that I was not in favor of IBM enhancing RPG to directly support thin clients (i.e. browsers). They would have messed it up and brought Java into the picture and ... Also please remember that you're writing with hindsight. There weren't the sophisticated JavaScript libraries available then that there are now - although of course we end up with a less-than-thin client as a result. As to Google apps and the cloud - well we'd barely heard fo them 2 years ago let alone 7.

I agree that in some respects a thin-client RDP would be great - and certainly as far as Navigator goes that is clearly IBM's direction. As a Mac user I would love to dump Windows completely - and RDP is currently the only thing I have to use it for. But I don't see a server-based version on an IBM i providing the responsiveness I need. Also for me I _need_ to be able to code off-line. I did actually try RDP in connected mode while flying the other day (wi-fly?) and it wasn't pretty - the time lag to load source etc was just too long. One of many reasons why Google apps don't excite me as much as they do some folks.

I do think the MS thick-client model is increasingly going to become irrelevant - but connectivity speeds and cost will be a factor for a very long time yet. For example - I am currently in a property with no internet service. I am using a mi-fi device (with a horribly expensive data plan) to be able to write this. No way can I use only thin-client solutions in this situation.

I also think you missed the point of the article a little. We were just noting that there was now a simple low-cost alternative to PDM for administrative tasks and CL programming.

I'm also a bit confused in that most 5250 clients are pretty thin - including IBM's new Java-based emulator. All the processing goes on on the IBM i - in the cloud if you like.

So have I changed my mind? In some ways to some extent - yes. As the capabilities of this little world of ours expand I would be pretty foolish not to!

Ronald Portier

Now that we will have a Java based 5250 emulator, there is an excellent "thin client" for all our programming on the iSeries. Is is called PDM+SEU, and it has been a big mistake that IBM for years has been forcing, and still is trying to force programmers into using a bloated, slow, windows only editor like RDP...

Am I old fashioned? Maybe, but I happily use all modern language features of RPG. Of course all data-access in done in SQL. Most of the time the code will have a web based GUI, through J2EE, or even Lotus Domino.

Do I not like workstation, GUI based tools? No I use Eclipse exclusively to program Java or Python.

Actually I tried RDP and its predecessors several times. Always it was a disappointment. Extremely heavy on resources. Still crawling if not crashing. And a big relieve to resume green-screen editting.

Maybe if RSE could be run as a plugin on standard Eclipse (so it would be fast, and would run on macs and on my Debian laptop) - I might be won over...

IBM, please stop wasting money on Windows only based bloated tools, when we can have a fast and reliable editor on the system where the code will run... Or give us a fast GUI editor, yes and make that one open source too...

Any modern system has free and open source editors, frameworks and compilers... Why is IBM i (or AS/400 as I went back to calling our beloved system after the nth rename by marketting guys) left in the cold?

Jean Mikhaleff

Jon and Ronald,

I know an office suite with a word processor which has about 40 or 50% of OpenOffice or Microsoft Office functionalities. I know a source editor which has 60% of RDP functionalities.
Are you interested?
The only one advantage of Google Aps and PDM is the architecture. Young people and old fashioned people love thin clients. Do you grasp the beauty of that?

Jon Paris

@Ronald "Maybe if RSE could be run as a plugin on standard Eclipse (so it would be fast, and would run on macs and on my Debian laptop) - I might be won over..."

Ummm - it _is_ a plug-in to standard Eclipse. The only difference is that IBM's own tooling does the plugging in - which I for one am grateful.

It has also been available for Linux for a while now. Not Mac sadly - although I'm told some people got it to work. It should run on Debian. The list of supported OSs is more a statement of resource for testing than anything else. IBM won't say it runs on a particular platform until it is thoroughly tested.

The reason it was Windows only for so long was due to the fact that a version of the compiler was used to provide the support for the Verifier and the Outline view. Outline is now done differently - and dynamically if required. Not sure about verifier.

Why no open-source editors etc? Well there is RPG NextGen which meets your simple plug-in requirement. But it is nowhere near as full featured as RDP. for more details and download.

Maybe you can live without Outline view and the other tools in RDP but I can't. Heck I even tolerate Windows 7 in an otherwise Mac-only universe just to get that stuff. Go back to SEU ? Shudder ... you'd have to pry RDP from my cold dead ... And I'd feel that way even if SEU was updated with the V7 stuff (which it isn't)

Jean Mikhaleff

I have found your problem. When you say “I am currently in a property with no internet service.” When I book a room, I make sure they have free internet available because internet is like running water or electricity. What do you think of this Aaron Barthel's sentence : "customers have choosen IBM i for three reasons : first integration, second integration and third integration"? Coding RPG off-line is not the dream of everyone.Is it?

Jon Paris

@Jean I do make sure that any hotels I stay at have internet service (although it is often not as good as promised) but this was my own house! At the time we moved in we could not get internet service installed in a meaningful timeframe. It's a long story.

As to Aaron's comment - I think he would view it differently if he had been around in the days of the 36 and 38. I would have said Applications, Integration, and Ease of management.

Jean Mikhaleff

@Jon Yes, I agree: "Applications, Integration an Ease of management". Thanks.

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