Hi,

> Be careful what you with for. I'm sure (I know) there are sites out
> there that are happy where they are. If you forced them to move to a
> later release/language (RPGIV) then they may move... To another
> platform.

I think you're absolutely right. In fact, I have done this myself -- not
with RPG, of course.  With EDI software, Sterling Commerce came to me and
said "you must stop using GENTRAN: Basic for DOS and use the Windows
product" and then told me what it would cost.

Well, since that meant re-writing everything in my EDI application anyway,
I dropped Sterling Commerce and switched to Premenos (aka Harbinger,
Peregrine, Inovis... the company with a million names)

When someone comes along and gives me a slap on the face, I don't usually
want to stay with that company.  ESPECIALLY if I perceive an advantage to
switching.  (In the case of EDI, I moved my operations to all run on the
iSeries, which made my life easier.)

In the case of switching to Windows, there's a lot more software
available.  The users have all been demanding Windows.  It looks a whole
lot more attractive and modern!  IF the only reason I was still on the
iSeries is because I had so much already invested in RPG II or III -- man,
I think I'd be moving quickly.

On the other hand, I'm always eager to move to the latest version of
FreeBSD whenever it comes out.  I'm always eager to upgrade to the latest
version of Firefox.  Why do I resist changing in one place -- to the point
of dropping the vendor -- when I don't resist change at ALL when it comes
to these other things?

The answer is, again, the perceived benefits.  When I upgrade Firefox, I
get better stability, lots of new toys, and the upgrade is painless.  Same
with upgrading FreeBSD.  Sure, occasionally, it breaks compatibility fo
something, but that's almost always easily fixed.

If IBM wants people to drop RPG II and RPG III, they need to provide some
POSITIVE incentives.  Don't punish people for staying with IBM!  Give them
a bonus for upgrading to RPG IV!

The problem is, from the user's perspective (and the users are the
ones who drive IT, not the managers, not the programmers) nothing is
different.  an RPG IV program looks just like an RPG III program.  Why
should they care what it's written in?

Give them something new to exclaim joy over.  Make RPG IV able to read &
write Excel spreadsheets (without the whole Java mess).  Give it a really
nice GUI interface and lots of graphics capabilities.  Give it built-in
support for XML and HTML and better integration with web servers.

But what does the RPG team do?  They reinvent the same op-codes over and
over. First RPG IV. Then as BIFs in eval statements.  Then as free-form.
Same functionality, different syntax.  Make it so easy for us to provide
what the users want that we can't live without RPG IV!

If we go down the negative path, what's next?  Next year they'll be
charging us extra for using RPG IV saying we MUST switch to Java. Then,
who knows what else will come next...


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