• Subject: Re: An odd thing
  • From: DAsmussen <DAsmussen@xxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 12 Dec 1997 22:11:10 EST
  • Organization: AOL (http://www.aol.com)


In a message dated 97-12-09 19:11:28 EST, you write:

> But they decided to use IBM's Visual Generator to redevelop all their AS/400
>  based software to a client/server model using COBOL. I was very surprised
>  this choice. At first, I thought the guy telling me about it was joking.
>  he was serious, and he had called me to see if I knew anything about the
>  account that might indicate some reason for this direction. 
>  Now, the customer has no COBOL programmers on site. They do have a couple
>  RPG guys. They already have RPG and C both licensed on the AS/400. 

This sounds rather suspicious, does the firm have VG consultants to offer?
Being a "code generator" (AS/Set) user myself, the COBOL decision makes
absolutely no sense in a site with nothing but RPG programmers on staff.  The
beauty of AS/Set is that it generates RPG -- I've found it much faster to
train people in the tool that can read the generated code than to train people
from COBOL or C backgrounds.  Yes, RPG'ers look at the generated code and
puke, but at least they understand what it does and can "tweak" their AS/Set
code to generate more efficient RPG.

>  I would think that having opted to not redevelop in Java in order to
>  accomodate their existing customer base that RPG would have been a natural
>  choice. ILE RPG, RPG IV, VisualAge RPG. Quite a bit of tools lying around
>  make use of RPG skill sets. 

Me, too.  No matter _WHAT_ the vendors say, there is always an instance in
which you need to know the generated language in order to fix problems that
passed the tool's syntax checker (poor performance, compile errors caused by
something "unique" that your site does, display files blowing up during
compile because they are locked by a user, etc.).

>  But, maybe this consulting firm (a national one) knows something I don't.
>  Anybody got some idea what I am missing on this one?

On the latter, the pain that your former compatriots will soon face ;-)!


Dean Asmussen
Enterprise Systems Consulting, Inc.
Fuquay-Varina, NC  USA
E-Mail:  DAsmussen@aol.com

"It is impossible to make anything foolproof, because fools are so ingenious."
-- Anonymous
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