If I ever convince both myself and the powers that be here that we must
"webify" everything, I have no intention whatsoever of learning the
nitty gritty details of HTML, JSF, J2EE, etc. There will have to be
something that does for "webifying" that ProGen Plus did for subfile
BCD (the same people who brought you ProGen)
have Websmart - the same concept - you work in a easy to
learn psuedo code, and other than debug, no need to ever look at the generated code. However, Websmart's generated ile rpg is very readable & clear. They have many advanced features inside the tool to build a fully functional web applications, and connections to many other BCD tools (portal, analysis tool, etc), plus a php option rather than rpgle.
I have no problem with 4gl tools that can build real business apps and be manageable and maintainable.
Now they have a tool to pull your rpg & dds into their Websmart format.

Jim Franz
(using websmart at a customer for 9 years)

----- Original Message ----- From: "Jeff Crosby" <jlcrosby@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: "Midrange Systems Technical Discussion" <midrange-l@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Tuesday, September 02, 2008 5:09 PM
Subject: Re: 4GL's

I have to chime in a bit here. Many many years ago I went with ProGen
Plus from BCD for generating subfile programs. For a couple of years
after that, I was worried because I could no longer write a subfile
program from scratch. I got over that. I couldn't care less how to do
one from scratch. ProGen Plus does everything I need in the way of
subfiles in literally 1/10 the time. I care not one whit for all that

If I ever convince both myself and the powers that be here that we must
"webify" everything, I have no intention whatsoever of learning the
nitty gritty details of HTML, JSF, J2EE, etc. There will have to be
something that does for "webifying" that ProGen Plus did for subfile
programs. I am not a computer geek that works for a business, I am a
businessman who likes to use computers to solve business problems.

Last week and next week I am attending an online web class (free) put on
by IBM about EGL I'm spending 6+ hours a day hands on finding
out/learning what I can about EGL. The depth and breadth of what EGL
does is astonishing and I've only scratched the surface. I don't even
know enough yet to be dangerous. The powerpoint for the first class
alone is over 1,000 pages.

Both Joe Pluta's ("international authority on System i technology and
EGL") and Pete Helgren's names are mentioned on the foils. I don't know
if EGL will be for us, but it is indeed impressive.

Jeff Crosby
UniPro Foodservice/Dilgard
Opinions expressed are my own and not necessarily those of my company. Unless I say so.

Joe Pluta wrote:
david gibbs wrote:

You're 80% of the way there.

You are correct ... I don't trust generated code any further than I can spit it. I far prefer to use code that I wrote or at least can reasonably maintain myself (which is why I'm not adverse to using a code Wizard to create a starting point).

I understand this point. But I hope you agree this is purely a personal
stand - David Gibbs prefers rolling his own, although he will accept
help from the friendly Wizard <grin>. I understand that position, and
even agree wherever practical. However, I hope you'll also agree that
lots of shops don't have the time to address their application backlog,
much less rewrite existing plumbing code, and that there are valid
business situations to use proprietary and/or generated code. We all
rely on code we cannot maintain to one degree or another, especially
those of us who use Windows (much less those who program for it).

So, the idea that the code is generated shouldn't be a showstopper for
everyone, even if it is for you. For people who don't have the time to
reinvent or even reimplement the wheel, generated code can actually be a
positive thing because it allows them to concentrate on the business
logic rather than the plumbing.

The rest of my dislike is half the quality of the code they generate ... and half being tied to a single companies product to generate the code. Heaven help the company who used a code generator to develop a major application ... have the generator's author go out of business ... and then have something go wrong with the generator due to an OS upgrade. Yes, in the case of EGL, I know the likelihood of this happening is vanishingly slim ... but not with other products.

So you agree that your other issue is one that really doesn't apply as
much to EGL.

Let me pose a question: do you think there's a larger contingency within
IBM backing EGL or RPG? I know it's not quite an apples-to-apples
comparison, since RPG is likely to be around as long as the platform,
but I'm just pointing out that EGL has as large a commitment from IBM as
anything. Rational has its own conference, and it's a big one. EGL is
prominent there, and getting moreso.

I guess I'm saying that while the idea of EGL (or indeed any technology)
being orphaned is not a completely unjustifiable concern, it's harder to
justify when your primary development choice is RPG and the i.


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