• 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 
programmers. 

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
mailto:mcalabro@commsoft.net
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