Pete Helgren wrote:
I am going to gently disagree with "EGL is closer to RPG and COBOL than any of the other languages being presented as alternatives" statement.
Okay, my turn to disagree <smile>.

So the assumption is, the day to day RPG programmer is writing code with SEU and is probably not using much in the way of ILE. No free format, no modules, no ILE integration with Java or C. So that is my assumption, given my experience, and that assumption may be flawed. OK, with *that* assumption, an RPG programmer, as I have just described, now has just launched RBD and is staring at the workbench.
This is a pretty flawed assumption. Since IBM provides tons of tutorials as well as free online distance learning, if the programmer has zero web experience, the first thing they ought to do is take advantage of that material.

This ain't like SEU, this ain't like anything they have seen on the i before. They are in a graphical world now and as they walk through their first "Hello World" app or whatever, they are almost guaranteed to encounter an error. It won't resemble an SEU error or a compile error. It will display like some errors do in a browser or in Windows. Just a text message probably with a reference they haven't seen before.
Again, there are huge amounts of free training to get you past the initial learning curve of EGL. If you don't take advantage of that and you insist on bulling your way through without any help, then yes, I agree that it's daunting. At that point, though, it's a poor craftsman who blames his tools, especially if he doesn't read the instructions.

This isn't unique to EGL. But I would argue, unlike what you posit, that EGL has no advantage in this case. PHP 5, Java, C# would all be equally baffling to an RPG programmer at this point.
Let's turn this around a little, though. Let's say you aren't a green screen RPG/400 programmer. Let's say you know what ILE is, and what a procedure is. And you ARE familiar with WDSC, which has been out for over five years now and hardly qualifies as "bleeding edge" technology. At this point, the syntax and structure of the EGL language will be much closer to your capabilities than Java or C# or [scripting language of the week], and the tool will be second nature since the editor and the debugger are exactly the same.

EGL holds a lot of promise, and, fortunately, has moved out of the "skunk works" and is becoming a topic that is widely discussed and supported and, therefore, easier to get help/support info for. That is a good thing. But I don't believe it is naturally an easier to digest language. It's like Java, but different enough to cause me quite a bit of frustration. It is like RPG, but different enough to give me headaches as I do mental gymnastics to translate RPG into EGL constructs.
If you get headaches from multi-language environments, you're going to get them no matter what language you use. Even if you use RPG-CGI, you still have to learn HTML at the very least and probably a lot more. Those who are successful building web applications learn to compartmentalize. But once you do, and you learn how to code the EGL bits in EGL and the RPG bits in RPG, you can't imagine how productive it is.

In my copious free time this summer I'm going to start a project where I use EGL to build something. Not sure what yet, perhaps a simple forum, with a few nifty Web 2.0 features. I'll use RPG as my back end and walk through the architecture and open source the whole thing. Maybe then you'll see what I mean.

"it's more productive, and the tools are better. But that's just me <smile>." Yeah, it IS just you, at the moment. What we need are more Joe Plutas, in terms of EGL knowledgeable professionals, on this list. And, here is MY editorial, perhaps more EGL knowledgeable professionals that don't see complaints about the difficulties in the language as being attacks against EGL. Just frustrations that offer opportunities for improvements.

I don't consider all comments as attacks. Mostly just Jon's, for the reasons I've spelled out. I consider myself as providing the disclaimer to Jon's comments. The problem I think is that I'm the only EGL person who posts here regularly, and that being the case you don't get the warm and fuzzy treatment they offer over at the EGL Cafe. I'm just not very fuzzy <grin>.



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