• Subject: RE: IBM pushing Java
  • From: Buck Calabro/commsoft<mcalabro@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 24 Mar 1999 08:30:34 -0500

On 03/23/99 05:03:55 PM "Mark Willett"  wrote:

>It is a argument for not converting to IV.  As you say, if the problem can
>be reproduced in the Vanilla product it is the Vendor's responsibility to
>fix it.....but ONLY in the Vanilla product.  That fix still has to be
>applied to the custom version and therefore it MUST be easier to do that
>task when the source has not be converted.  If the Software Vendor has a
>really great product with very little problems then my point is mute and
>conversion would be understandable.  That is usually not the case (in my
>experience).  The software I have been dealing with dictates that fixes 
>to be applied on a very regular basis.

Once the vendor has fixed the RPG400 version, you can either CVTRPGSRC to 
convert the fixed code into RPG IV or study the fix and make the 
appropriate changes in your existing RPG IV version.  Your point is very 
well taken that this is not a pretty sight, no matter which choice you 
make.  It's no harder to make changes to the RPG IV version than the RPG 
400 version, except for the intermediate step of running CVTRPGSRC.

It has been my experience that a shop that uses 3rd party software 
typically writes their own programs (reports, inquiries, etc.) into the 
vendor's database.  You can easily use these type of programs to start your 
RPG IV education, since the vendor won't be shipping a new version of them!

RPG IV is incredibly easy to adapt to.  Without having to read a single 
book or study the new features you get fewer limitations (array size, 
character field size, numeric field size, etc.) and long mixed case 
variable names.  With a tiny (two hours with an example) bit of study, you 
can use prototyped procedures - these bring you local variables!  If you 
can use the CL built in functions like %SWITCH and %SST, the RPG IV BIFs 
will be a piece of cake.  Using RPG IV is not like having to learn another 
language - it's about the same as the switch from RPG III to RPG 400.  The 
major change is that the columns are different (because of the longer 
variable names.)  That's why you need to use CVTRPGSRC to "convert" your 
source to RPG IV.  The conversion doesn't do anything to your code except 
juggle the columns. 

I am a self-taught RPG programmer, High School graduate (no university) and 
I started in 1978 on a System/3.  I qualify for the old codger's club.  I 
still own 96 column punched cards (great notepaper).  If *I* can write in 
RPG IV, literally anybody can.

Buck Calabro
Billing Concepts Inc (formerly CommSoft), Albany, NY
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