RE: PL/I on the AS/400...
 
> No idea if it is still available nor if the V4 PRPQ works on V5.
 
As far as PL/I on AS/400 goes, I currently spend about half my time writing or 
maintaining PL/I programs on a V5R3 box - the rest of it on RPGLE (my company 
(Computer Associates) has a product *now* called AllFusion 2E (but previously 
known as Synon/2E) that is almost entirely written in PL/I - we have several 
million lines of it over about 2000 programs). It looks as if the CRTPLIPGM CPP 
was recompiled (at least) for V5R2.
 
> It was never a particularly good subset. As I recall, list-directed
> (sort of like C stdin/stdout) and data-directed (sort of like a really
> good implementation of FORTRAN's NAMELIST) I/O wasn't there, and the
> terminal support was particularly lousy.

If you read the AS/400 PL/I manuals, they only really seem to cover the 
useful-to-mainframe bits, but the general DB2/400 I/O support is excellent and 
you can effectively do dat-directed I/O pretty easily. It's also the best 
implementation of pointers I've used - far better than C or RPGLE (although 
space pointers only) - again, only mentioned briefly in the manuals. I've only 
used PL/I a little on a mainframe, so I don't know what's missing in subset G.
 
> ILE PL/1 would be a much pleasanter environment than C (or even RPG IV or 
> COBOL).
 
I tried for a while to create PL/I programs, use SST to 'change' them into 
modules and then bind them but it never worked (sigh!). However, a combination 
of the PL/I run-unit and external variables (defined in the run-unti but 
accessible from multiple programs) can mimic some of the benefits of ILE (like 
simulating static binding).
 
Coincidentally, at V5R2, the CRTPLIPGM command dropped the TGTRLS parameter, 
until someone made a fuss, which is why they patched it so that on a V5R3 box, 
you need to specify the target release in the TEXT paramater, as e.g. CRTPLIPGM 
PGM(MYPGM) TEXT('**V4R5M0This is my program') to create a V4R5M0-compatible 
programs with text name of 'This is my program'.
 
Anyway, long story short: PL/I still alive and kicking on AS/400. We have about 
3500 customers using 2E (including bits of IBM themselves!) and IBM assures us 
that it's not going away.
 
Rory
 
Rory Hewitt
Software Architect
Computer Associates

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