The one area of RPG we have no control over is also one of the things that
is most frustrating; specifically the legacy-laden syntax. Yes yes, RPG is
awesomely stable and integrated, and yes, it has fairly simple modularity.
But it has held on to too many legacy things in its latest 100% freeform
(the chance they had to be rid of some of the legacy stuff was not taken

Steve Sibley's(n1) recent declaration of IBM's continued commitment to ILE
compilers is good to know, but it is important to realize what's being
celebrated as historical evidence of continued success and support; namely
RPG OA and 100% freeform. RPG OA was too little too late to make the
difference necessary for IBM i customers to adequately compete. And I
already commented on 100% freeform above. In short, IBM is keeping RPG
alive, but they've made no moves to show they intend for it to thrive.

n1 - http://krengel.tech/steve-sibley-2017

The question I ask myself is if I would use RPG for a brand new
application. I always answer "no" based on my above opinions and also the
significantly smaller community.

Of much more intrigue are things like iSeriesPython (if somebody wanted to
stick with the ILE environment yet have a language with a better syntax and
the ability to pull from a large community repository).

Again, just my opinion.

Aaron Bartell
IBM i hosting, starting at $157/month. litmis.com/spaces

On Wed, Jul 5, 2017 at 12:07 PM, Justin Taylor <JUSTIN@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

RPG doesn't have a critical mass when it comes to standard libraries. I
imagine most devs who would be inclined to participate wander off and find
other languages that have a critical mass, as opposed to trying to build
from (almost) scratch using RPG.

Just IMO...

-----Original Message-----
From: John Yeung [mailto:gallium.arsenide@xxxxxxxxx]
Sent: Wednesday, July 05, 2017 9:37 AM
To: RPG programming on the IBM i (AS/400 and iSeries) <
Cc: IBMi Open Source Roundtable <opensource@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: Re: [IBMiOSS] RPG easier/harder to use than other languages?

[Cross-posted to RPG400-L and OPENSOURCE]

On Wed, Jul 5, 2017 at 9:39 AM, jacobus erps <jacobus.erps@xxxxxxxxx>
What RPG misses is a vibrant eco system.
There are no standard libraries to speak of.
Lack of dynamic datastructures, like maps.

I certainly agree on the lack of standard libraries. I would characterize
RPG's ecosystem this way: Fledgling, underpublicized, growing. I agree it's
not "vibrant" yet, but that may change. It's definitely going in the
direction of vibrancy.

There was a recent mini-flurry of Stack Overflow questions by someone who
has been working on their own dynamic data structures for RPG.
(You're not that someone, are you?) Their results so far are here:


Dynamic arrays for RPG have been available for many years now from at
least Mihael Schmidt and Aaron Bartell, perhaps also others I'm not aware
of. (As I said, underpublicized.)

I'm currently working on a versatile map implementation for RPG, hope
to release it soon as an open source project.
The map may contain any combination of key/item data types (integer,
packed decimal, date, etc), iteration is done through cursors with
setll/setgt/read/readp/reade semantics.
The keys and items in a map maybe other maps too.

The Stack Overflow activity I mentioned above culminated in a HashMap
implementation. I'm not sure it's as flexible as what you've described
(allow a map to be a key?), but it ought to work very much like Java's

I'm not too familiar with Java actually, but I know Python pretty well,
and its built-in mapping structure (called "dictionary") doesn't allow keys
to be mutable. Among other things, this prevents you from inadvertently
mutating one key so that it becomes equal to another key.

If you're not LppEdd (Edoardo Luppi), you probably ought to at least check
out what they've already done. For reference, the most relevant Stack
Overflow question was this:


John Y.

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