Once again, right on the money. The only people that would question this
are those that are in total denial of reality.



-----Original Message-----
From: midrange-l-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:midrange-l-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Bob Cancilla
Sent: Thursday, August 20, 2009 2:43 PM
To: Midrange Systems Technical Discussion
Subject: Re: Modernizing applications


IBM is moving forward with Power Systems and the Power 6 platform. I know
for a fact that IBM's Rational SW is gearing up to support AIX and LINUX as
a development platform as well as a runtime environment.

My points here are that everyone avoids the real issue that the IBM i market
is rapidly and continuously declining and we all need to figure out what to
do about it. There are many "customers" who still run Beige AS/400's and
early versions of OS/400 and have had no support from IBM for years.

What I see is that pundits who make their living on RPG and the OS don't
want customers to look objectively at what is going on. I do not feel that
it would be appropriate for me to address staffing levels in the Toronto
lab, but if you have contacts find out how big the RPG & COBOL development
teams are... See if you think the staffing levels are indicative of a
strategic product ...

The fact of the matter is that IBM i is in a major state of decline and
there is no turning it around with no organization in IBM to do so and there
is no IBM organization promoting IBM i and that is a fact.

The key issues are how long will it last? My estimate is 5 years -- I might
be wrong, it could be next year or it could be 7 years, but it will happen.
Then what? What are the steps that customers need to to take? Do they need
to take any actions? Would you run an unsupported OS?

IBM was quite good to me, I have no complaint. As far as RPG's future, it
is moronic to believe that a language that runs on one and only one
operating system is a "strategic" language. Will IBM drop it? You bet they
will! When? When they drop the OS. Until then it will be kept alive and
that is all. Will you get enhancements? Some but not many and nothing

On Thu, Aug 20, 2009 at 7:46 AM, Hans Boldt <hans@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

Trevor wrote:
From my perspective, I know Bob is right on a few fronts and
wrong on many. The market for our platform has certainly shrunk
over the last decade, and it is still shrinking. However, it is
not going away in some time. For Bob to be preaching that it will
die ~tomorrow~ is essentially spreading fear. And, my concern is
that was on a forum that is pro-i.

Trevor: You make some good points. True, it's hard to decide how much of
Bob's rants are driven by other factors, such as disillusionment with his
previous employer and driving his current business. But likewise, people
dependent on iSeries for their business aren't likely to post critical
opinions of iSeries prospects either.

Certainly, the iSeries business won't disappear tomorrow. But we all agree
that the business is in decline, and those working in I.T. have to adjust
to current realities. In my opinion, to deny what's happening does no
favors to people who depend on I.T. to support themselves and their

What is wonderful about our platform is that you CAN expand in
many ways right on the i. And beyond that, having skills that
leverage your i experience while becoming a well rounded IT
developer is also key.

Exactly! Unfortunately, I see too many people who stick their heads in the
sand, thinking that they can work out their careers without having to
learn anything new. Or who think that iSeries and RPG are the greatest
things since sliced bread. One has to be realistic. Having an education
plan is vital, and you can't always count on your employer to help. In the
past, I've made some specific recommendations, and I'll repeat them here
in case the alternatives aren't immediately obvious:

1) Learn HTML, CSS, and Apache. These skills can, of course, be applied on
the iSeries.

2) Learn Linux. Most of us have more than one computer at home anyways.
Keep one on Windows for the things you need Windows for. But have at least
one machine running Linux since the software development tools there are
so much easier to use. (Besides being free!)

3) Learn at least one new programming language. I've always recommended
Python since it's easy to learn, powerful, and provides a much gentler
introduction to OOP that Java or C++.

Once you start with these things, additional learning opportunities will
readily present themselves.

Cheers! Hans

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