Another benefit to RPGIV is the wonderful date arithmetic.  You can almost
throw away your date routines and still use the character and numeric dates
in your existing files.  

I'm lucky (?) to work in an environment where we have almost no packaged
software, so supporting RPG Classic packages was not really an issue.  Our
policy has been all new development in RPGIV and conversion of existing
programs on an as needed basis.  It's really fun to handle an array overflow
support call at 2 AM by converting the program to RPGIV and expanding the
array, cancelling the OPM version and then giving a retry to the CL message
that follows. 

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Buck Calabro/commsoft [mailto:mcalabro@commsoft.net]
> Sent: Wednesday, March 24, 1999 5:31 AM
> To: MIDRANGE-L@midrange.com
> Subject: RE: IBM pushing Java
> 
> 
> 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 
> need
> >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
> mailto:mcalabro@commsoft.net
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