• Subject: RE: CGI Fact Finding Mission (Need Input)
  • From: "Stone, Brad V (TC OASIS)" <bvstone@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 18 Nov 1999 10:43:56 -0600

more comments as well! ;)

> Brad wrote:
> >You can use Persistent CGI.  But, I prefer to use my own method of
> >Persistence.  When a user signs on to the sight, I'll 
> generate an "ID"
> >number and pop it into a cookie on their machine.  Then for 
> each page I
> >retrieve the value of that cookie.  If it's not there, 
> direct them to the
> >first page.  You could also pass this value as a Query 
> String evironment
> >variable throughout the process and this would would just the same.
> Cookies are a controversial subject.  Some say they're
> safe, but others point out that advertisers use them to
> track the movements of people through the web.

They are safe.  At least for now.  Who cares if they're tracking your

Its too bad that Cookies and JS get a bad name because people use it for
stuff like this.  They're great tools.

> >If you're an RPG shop, don't take on a new project to learn 
> Java, IMHO.
> Why not?  Java is worth learning even for one project.
> I've said before that learning Java is a great way to
> improve your RPG programming.
> (Java is quite useful on the server-side.  Never count
> on it being available on the client.)

You cut out my comment on "if it's a mission critical project."  Sure, learn
Java if you have a year or more to complete the project.  But, if you've got
to get it done yesterday, you're in for trouble if you've never done
anything but RPG programming.

You're right, Java will improve your RPG programming, but only if you use
Java correctly.  Learning the concepts behing any OO language is a 4 year
degree in itself.  You don't just pick it up overnight.

> >Javascript, though, you should learn and can learn on the way.
> IMHO, don't bother with JavaScript.  Some of us run our
> browsers with JavaScript disabled.  You've seen those
> annoying popup ad windows generated from the free web
> page services like GeoCities, right?  Turn off JavaScript
> and that nonsense goes away.
> If you require JavaScript to navigate through your pages,
> you may impress some people, but you'll also piss off
> those of us who keep JavaScript turned off.

Again, it's too bad some folks thing this way.  Luckily for businesses on
the web it's only a minuscule percent of the population that knows what is
popping up those windows, etc.  Mostly programmers.  99% of the buying
public will realize, if you want to shop at Amazon, surf Midrange
Computing's Web site, etc you can't turn off JS.

Javascript is powerful, especially for client side verification of forms.
Javascript is used to impress people sometimes, but that wears off and it is
used for what it is really great for.  Client side verification, cookies,
and even some small amounts of dynamic web content.

> >Learn Java
> >on your spare time (what's that?) and then later you may be able to
> >incorporate it.  I prefer not to try and learn something on mission
> critical
> >projects.  Perl, you won't need that if you're using RPG for CGI.
> Well, you can always use a hammer to drive in a screw.
> Personally, I cringe whenever I see a CGI program written
> in RPG.  Perl is so much nicer for CGI.  There are even
> packages available in Perl that make it easier to create
> web pages.  But, hey, if RPG works for you, who am I to
> criticize.

Yep, Hans.  We've already heard this analogy.  You cringe when you see CGI
written in RPG, and I cringe when I see folks telling people to do the

In this case I believe using Perl as CGI is like using a pitchfork to lay
cement.  The original poster said all his data resides on the AS/400.  So
using RPG to get this data to the web is not using a hammer to drive a
screw.  It's using a screwdriver to drive a screw.  (ie the screw is DB/400
and RPG is the screwdriver.  Perl in this case would be a T-Square)  

If you're not accessing DBs, sure, use Perl.  I agree it never hurts to
learn other languages.  but for every language that I know, as long as my
company's data resides in PFs on the AS/400, I have yet to find a tool that
will work as well as RPG.  The other languages are simply to say that I know
them, and I rarely use them.  ie, RPG is a screwdriver for the screw we call
DB/400.  Java, Perl, etc. etc. are hammers.

Bradley V. Stone

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