On Thu, Dec 3, 2015 at 4:49 PM, <rob@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
<snip>
And here is where the rub is. No one wants to code using 8 year old
technology. There is a reason that there are newer versions of java. New
features have been added, 'oddities' have been fixed, additional support
has been added, and so on.

Programming languages tend not to keep evolving so much that new
language features are compelling. Nice, yes, but not compelling. There
is initial design. Then a period of growth. Then maturity. Java has
been pretty mature since maybe Java 5, and definitely since Java 6.
Java 7 and 8 add very, very advanced features. They are more
computer-sciency features for completeness, rather than fixes for pain
points encountered in daily IT programming.

Java 6 is almost exactly 9 years old.

People do not want to keep coding for ancient
stuff. "People on this other platform have these cool features" "Sorry,
but that would require Java x and we aren't allowed to use that because we
have to support all these back releases of IBM i"

Well, most folks who code for IBM i still code in RPG, and that has
been mature since the initial RPG IV (14-ish years ago). Yes, yes,
yes, a lot of features have been added since then. But nothing really
groundbreaking. Nothing so compelling that *most* RPG programmers will
be struggling if they have to live without them. (The folks on this
list are not in the *most* category.)

I think the thing that is really rough if you're in Sun's or now
Oracle's position is that Java is so ubiquitous that it's a security
issue. It gets updates nearly as frequently as Windows or Web
browsers, and the only thing that needs to be updated THAT often is
security.

Even "mainstream" IBM i shops are saying "You have to be on a current
version of IBM i for our to get any upgrades, patches, support, etc".
I question how long "current" will mean X-2. As of September 30 support
for 6.1 is gone, including by some of the 3rd parties. They've formally
announced it. That should mean they should be able to code using stuff
only available on 7.1 or higher. Start using the highest Java engine
available on 7.1, etc.

I guess this whole thread is a little disorienting for me, because
we're not a software vendor. We're a small IT shop. We write stuff for
our own use, so for the most part, we just have to make sure what we
have works on our exact equipment. No X-1 or X+1, just X. Now, it so
happens that virtually everything we've written or modified (including
all my iSeriesPython stuff) works *exactly the same* on V5R3 as it
does on 7.1, with absolutely ZERO changes to source code. We're not
purposely writing to V5R3. A little new stuff creeps in now and then,
and that wouldn't work on V5R3. We don't actively prevent usage of the
new stuff. After all, it's not like *we* are going to migrate our i to
an older version.

John Y.

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