• Subject: RE: IBM pushing Java
  • From: Buck Calabro/commsoft<mcalabro@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 24 Mar 1999 13:53:17 -0500

On 03/24/99 10:49:49 AM Colin Williams  wrote:

>Sorry, but I've have never used JAVA, so I am putting my hand up as the
>volunteer sceptic. What is it about JAVA that makes documentation so
>easy? And where did this librarian appear from?

:-)  I wish I could untangle my fingers when I type.  Let me try again.

ANY modular programming makes documentation easier, by dint of the fact 
that you're working on a small, easy to understand function.  The 
monolithic approach makes it difficult to document because the various 
business "functions" are knotted together so tightly.  WE are the 
librarians now - who finds "that program with the interest calculations in 
it" when we need a copy of the interest routines?

Given that any modular/OO language allows better/more robust applications 
than an old language, why would IBM push Java?  The same reason Microsoft 
pushes Windows - that's where the money is!  If IBM can position the AS/400 
as a modern platform, fully capable of running an industry standard (i.e. 
NOT proprietary/closed) then they will make more sales.  Why should we go 
along with Java on the /400?  Because it is an industry standard, modern 
language that brings modern OO concepts to our field.  Maybe not this week, 
but eventually.  Like it or not, there's really a limited market for RPG 

I love RPG, especially since RPG IV came out.  My legacy applications are 
not going to be rewritten in Java just for the fun of doing it.  There 
comes a time when an old fashioned monolithic application becomes too 
brittle; too hard to modify without seriously breaking something.  At that 
time, management decides to a) Buy a new app, b) Discard the old one, c) 
Write a new one.  When it's time to write a new one, we'll probably do it 
in Java.  Until then, the existing work will stay in RPG.

Scepticism is a good thing - it gives people food for thought.  I was a 
Java sceptic until I looked at it.  Download the Java toolkit to your PC 
and take one of the many online tutorials.  Judge for yourself.

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