• Subject: Re: Java for AS400
  • From: "R. Bruce Hoffman, Jr." <rbruceh@xxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 02 Mar 1999 12:37:22 -0500

Archie Cameron wrote:
> My boss, bless her heart :-), wants me to learn and evaluate Java for the
> AS400 and Visual RPG so I can recommend one to our group.

Well, just my opinion, but they are really two different animals.

JAVA is not just for the 400, regardless of what Rochester wants you to
believe.  The java on the 400 can talk to the 400 and you can build
applets and applications that work *with* the 400.  The graphical stuff
still *must* run on a graphical platform.  If you must support web
applets that access the 400, or applications that must run on very
different hardware platforms (like Macs, Windows and unix boxes), then
Java is your tool.

The gotcha there is that the development environment is foreign to RPG
programmers.  (Note that I said RPG programmers.  By that I mean the
people that have only learned RPG, and not other languages as well.)

The Visual RPG limits the scope of deployment to Windows platforms
connected to the AS/400.  (I *know* that is going to get me some more
hate mail.  ;-)  )

While it preserves your investment in RPG skills, you should ask
yourself if that serves long term goals as well as it should.

Now to completely confuse you and reverse my position, I would like to
point out that while java is a pretty good language, it is still
*YOUNG*.  My experiences with 1.1.4, 1.1.6 and 1.1.7 versions left me
wanting much more in the language.  The latest (and if you think you
have problems with the 'RPG IV Compiler Targeting ILE' naming problems,
wait for this...)  Java 2 or the 1.2 version has so much more, but also
has renamed core packages (like the Swing components are now javax
namespaces instead of com.sun.swing namespaces) and implemented many of
the desired features wanted in previous releases.   BUT... there are
some quirky "rendering" bugs still in the code, particularly on the
windose platforms.

If this helped, great!  If it didn't, well, it was free....  ;-)

R. Bruce Hoffman, Jr. -- IBM Certified AS/400 Administrator

-- The sum of all human knowledge is a fixed constant.
    It's the population that keeps growing!
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