As I see it, the new languages via PASE are to bolster the existing IBMi installs. I agree that converts because of them would be rare.

I don’t think anything will depose RPG. It would have to come from IBM, and I'd say that's not going to happen.




-----Original Message-----
From: John Yeung [mailto:gallium.arsenide@xxxxxxxxx]
Sent: Wednesday, July 05, 2017 12:52 PM
To: IBMi Open Source Roundtable <opensource@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: RPG programming on the IBM i / System i <rpg400-l@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 1:07 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.

There is certainly a chicken-and-egg problem. And maybe *most* devs do migrate to other languages. But there are some that have already started to build an RPG ecosystem, and continue to do so. Evidence for this is already present in this thread.

I think it's not just foolhardiness either. It makes sense to build an RPG ecosystem, because RPG is honestly the dominant language on IBM i.
This is for technical as well as historical or social reasons. What's good for RPG is good for the i.

I think the push to add other languages to the i via PASE is a worthwhile one also. It's definitely nice to bring new functionality and new blood to the platform. And to do it relatively quickly and cheaply. But I don't think those languages can ever "take over" the midrange, no matter how much nicer they might be than RPG. Because if you are *solely* developing in those other languages, then you frankly might as well be doing it on another platform, where those languages are first-class citizens.

In my mind, the only thing that could *supplant* RPG is another "native" language that runs within QSYS.LIB. It would have to be far superior to RPG to overcome inertial effects that have been mentioned several times in this thread. No such language already exists[1], and it seems extremely unlikely that anybody (in or outside of IBM) is both willing and able to design and implement such a language.

John Y.


[1]C is not high-enough level to provide much improvement. C++ gives the *potential* for much higher-level programming than RPG, but seems much harder to learn for most programmers. Does ILE C++ have the level of DB2 integration that RPG has? I'd say Cobol is more-or-less a lateral move. What else is there? If there *were* something *far* superior already runnable in QSYS.LIB, it probably would have taken over already.


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