• Subject: Re: RPG vs. C
  • From: Jon Paris <paris@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 11 May 1998 12:46:30 -0400

>>.... but it looks like RPG is the defacto standard language because IBM
includes RPG as a standard (free) compiler on all platforms.<<

While it's true that RPG is the defacto standard on AS/400s (indeed on all IBM
midrange platforms) it is certainly NOT because IBM gives it away for free.
The RPG compiler is a chargeable feature just as the C compiler is.

>>On the other hand, IBM's C implementations look very restrictive. Visual
Age C++ only runs on recent machines. ILE C runs on more machines, but it
too only runs on a subset of AS400 platforms.<<

For performance reasons the C compiler is an ILE compiler (as is RPG IV) and as
such cannot run on operating system releases earlier than V2R3.  You seem
however to be confusing the OS release with the hardware level.  There is NO
AS/400 that C and C++ programs cannot run on since the V3R2 software release
will run on any AS/400 ever built.  This is more than can be said for most of
the Unix and PC systems out there.

With regard to C++, the only restriction is that you cannot _develop_ C++ code
on a CISC (i.e. non-RISC) box.  You can however target V3R2 systems for the
execution of the code.  Since anybody who wants their system to be Y2K safe
needs to be at V3R2 anyway, this is rarely a limitation in real terms.

>>Is it possible to create a program for a 9402-236 / V7R1 from an ILE C
compiler on a 9404-F10 / V3R1?<<

Again the hardware box is not really the relevant factor.  The release levels
of the source and target systems are the governing factors.  I guess you
probably mean V3R7 (even I don't pre-announce as early as V7R1!) - and in this
case the answer for the C compiler is Yes.  All compilers support releases
prior to the current one - if you key a release level that is unsupported into
the CRTxxxMOD or CRTBNDxxx command it will come back with an error message.

>>What does the group think about RPG vs C? Keep in mind that my customers
use a wide variety of AS400 platforms.<<

All languages have their uses.  C was designed for (and in my opinion is best
at) building compilers, operating systems, and similar tools.  RPG (and COBOL
for that matter) are designed for building application software.  I wouldn't
want to build a compiler in RPG or COBOL (although it has been done) - and I
certainly wouldn't want to build an Accounts Payable package in C.

Just to reiterate once again - the hardware platform your customer uses is not
relevant in most cases.  The governing factor is their release level.  You
should be actively encouraging them to move to V3R2 if they are on CISC
hardware, or you may not have them as customers in the year 2000!!

Jon Paris - AS/400 AD Market Support - paris@ca.ibm.com
Phone: (416) 448-4019   -   Fax: (416) 448-4414
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