Bruce,

Just because a language has a feature that other languages don't 
have is a good reason NOT to use that feature?  That's what your 
first argument sounds like to me.

How well can a non-C++ programer understand a C++ program?  Not 
very well is my guess.  Yes, they will figure out that:

If (a == b)
   {
   DoSomething(mystring);
   DoSomethingElse(yourstring);
   }

probably means that if a equals b, run a couple of procedures. 
 BUT, if a is a pointer, and b is a pointer, then what it is 
really saying is that "if a points to the same thing as b, then 
DoSomething and then DoSomethingElse.  Which could possibly be 
quite different.  And I won't even go into function or operator 
overloading.

So, does that mean you should not use an If statement in C++?

And how many languages support Packed Decimal natively?  RPG is 
the only one I know of.  So, make everything zoned?  I don't 
think so.

Regarding conversion to other languages, if that is your goal, 
then you shouldn't be using RPG.  C (not C++) would probably be 
a better choice.  And when was the last time ANYBODY used 
Fortran for LOB programming?  Why would you want to?

On your second statement regarding the difficulty of the RPG 
Cycle, I disagree.  I suspect that you where looking at poor 
documentation.  If a nice simple flowchart had been laid out 
(with out some of the exotic parts of the cycle like Look Ahead 
and Matching Records), it is fairly obvious what is going on. 
 Especially when you compare it to the logic of your manually 
coded reports.  Cause your logic is probably pretty much the 
same!

Also, while it is true that in many shops, the Cycle is 
verboten, that is not the case in my shop.

BTW the Cycle does still have a place, and that place is in the 
Present.  In todays world of on-line programs, it is not used 
near as much as in the old days, but it is still appropriate.

Regards,
Bob Crothers

-----Original Message-----
From:   Bruce Guetzkow [SMTP:bguetzkow@highsmith.com]
Sent:   Wednesday, December 31, 1997 9:31 AM
To:     'MIDRANGE-L@midrange.com'
Subject:        RE: An odd thing

Paul:

Just a few comments about the RPG cycle -

1)  It is unique to RPG.  No other language that I know of has 
this inherent cycle.  One can "easily" (relatively) convert 
programs from COBOL to FORTRAN to BASIC to (pick-your-favorite). 
 But to convert to/from RPG using the cycle takes special 
knowledge (job security?) that only RPG programmers have.  Even 
those of us that no longer use the cycle for processing, still 
use the cycle for file opens/closes (at least some of us do), so 
there is still some RPG-specific knowledge required, but far 
less, making RPG programs much more convertible and 
understandable for non-RPG programmers.  (BTW...I don't use 
indicators in the left-hand columns either, no matter how many 
of those old programs still have my name on them!)

2)  The RPG cycle isn't the easiest thing to learn.  It took me 
a week to figure out how to get the date and time on page 1 of a 
report using the cycle and the 1P indicator.  I had to call a 
friend and he had to _tell_ me...I never did figure it out on my 
own!

3)  Having said the above, I _do_ use the cycle for one-time 
programs that do _not_ go into production.  Using the cycle for 
production programs here is "verboten"...the quickest 
one-way-ticket to the unemployment line I know of!

The cycle had its place, but I think that place is now in the 
past.

Bruce Guetzkow
Team Coordinator, Applications Development
Highsmith Inc.
W5527 Highway 106 P.O. Box 800
Fort Atkinson, WI  53538-0800
Tel (920) 563-9571  Fax (920) 563-7395
EMAIL bguetzkow@highsmith.com


----------
From:   PaulMmn[SMTP:PaulMmn@ix.netcom.com]
Sent:   Tuesday, December 30, 1997 8:08 PM
To:     MIDRANGE-L@midrange.com
Subject:        Re: An odd thing

>on 12/30/97at 12:34 AM,  our friend PaulMmn 
<PaulMmn@ix.netcom.com> said:
>
>
>>I -did- find that, after writing in RPG for quite a while, the 
logic in
>>my COBOL programs seemed to resemble the RPG Cycle.   (:
>
>>--Paul E Musselman
>
>Paul, I am curious:  At that time it must have seemed like a 
"good
>thing"(tm).  But, now in hindsight do you still feel it was a 
good thing?
>
>I ask because so often it seems like people make fun of using 
the RPG
>cycle, and when they do it makes me feel just a little bit 
older again.
>
>----------------------------------------------------
>Booth Martin
>---------------------------------------------------



A 'good thing?'  Yes.  The RPG cycle is still a nice, solid 
basic structure
onto which you can hang the logic of your program.

Writing in COBOL, I had to, of course, 'fill in' the pieces that 
IBM would
normally handle.

The Cycle follows a logical course:  Input, Processing, Output. 
 I've got a
programming template for HIPO, that was evidently used to build 
programs
using that basic logic:  Input, Processing, Output.

Even now the RPG Cycle still does as good if not a better job of 
creating a
simple report program than do-it-yourself logic.  Imagine-- 
using a Report
Program Generator to generate report programs!  (:

It's when you get into complicated processing logic that it may 
be better
to 'roll your own' logic.  Then again...  why?  The Cycle always 
did a good
job for complicated update programs.  Or am I living in the 
past?

Why is it considered 'unmanly' to let RPG handle the logic for 
you?

--Paul E Musselman
PaulMmn@ix.netcom.com


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