I'll have to agree on this. When I started RPG CGI programming back in late 
1997/early `98, I started with basic HTML knowledge and was able to get up and 
running pretty quickly. In the span of about two weeks, I learned enough web 
server configuration to take care of setting a server up and also had a CGI 
program that brought up some data from our JDE system. This was all self 
thought and there weren't the resources for help that are available now. The 
fact that it was building upon a language that I was already familiar with 
helped tremendously.

Java, on the other, was a different story. A bunch of us went to a week long 
class and it took a couple of days to get to the point of being able to do a 
piddly app like my first CGI program. I not only had to learn a new source 
editor (Visual Age for Java) but I also had to learn a new language that is far 
from simple to get your head around. This class didn't even touch on web 
development (it may not have even been an option outside of applets at the 
time) but the end result was that my web development continued in RPG CGI 
exclusively for the next few years.

I've never felt that Java has the same approachability that RPG has for someone 
just starting off. I guess the difference is that RPG is designed to be able to 
get common business tasks done easily where Java seems more like something that 
came out of the academic world. I also like the fact that I've rarely had to 
touch my RPG code during upgrades (I've had to do it once -- my CGI programs 
needed recompiled during one of the V4Rx upgrade) where with every time a new 
version of WebSphere comes out, the apps need to be touched (we're going 
through this right now).

Matt

-----Original Message-----
From: Bob Cozzi [mailto:cozzi@xxxxxxxxx]
Sent: Friday, January 28, 2005 4:12 PM
To: 'Web Enabling the AS400 / iSeries'
Subject: RE: [WEB400] RE: Opinions Wanted


I taught a class on CGI RPG for the web at COMMON in Toronto last year.
The class is based on my CGILIB service program (a much better CGI library
that is included "free" with the RPG xTools). 
By mid-afternoon a student who had been in an IBM class the day before and
to a weeks worth of WebSphere-insert-your-topic-here classes at IBM said the
following:
"Gosh Bob, in about a half a day, I know how to write a program to get on
the web, I can't wait to get back to the shop and use it. The IBM classes on
WebSphere were just getting to this kind of stuff after 4 days."
As we know, simplicity in innovation breeds success, iPod, Palm Pilot, Cell
phones, MS Windows, etc.  
You start off with something people can get their "arms around" (i.e.,
understand the product without thinking about it too much) and then you add
in more features. Suddenly you have a cell phone that does what a Palm Pilot
does, takes digital pictures, video records your life and play your music
all in one unit--and it sells!
You add in features and complexity as your customer's knowledge of your
product grows so the knowledge of the product grows with the product.

IBM's problem is that instead of a Palm Pilot they come out with a portable
recording studio that might be "smaller and easier to use in the next
release".  Why do they do that? They can't make money on things that cost
very little because that requires lots and lots of sales. Low-cost items
mean you have to sell tons of them to make money. IBM has not marketing
capability so they can only produce huge, monster products that cost the
customers tons of money. IBM needs only sell relatively few to make a
profit. 

With Eclipse IBM combined the two style very badly. The created a huge,
complex monster that doesn't cost you anything. So in order to charge you
for it, they had to create more add-on code. But since the base was so huge
and complex, even IBM is having trouble integrating cool new tools into it.
It's all a big nightmare.
-Bob


-----Original Message-----
From: web400-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:web400-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxx] On
Behalf Of Tom Jedrzejewicz
Sent: Friday, January 28, 2005 2:16 PM
To: Web Enabling the AS400 / iSeries
Subject: Re: [WEB400] RE: Opinions Wanted

The IBM Roadmap has a HUGE jump between traditional and WebSphere.  It
seems to me that CGIDEV2 is the natural in-between step for many
shops. Packaging CGIDEV2 as a part of the ADTS licensed program and
support it through standard PTF and support processes they would go a
long way.

Part of the problem is that shows get to the point of looking to get
on the web, and Websphere is so daunting, in cost and in complexity. 
For small shops this is magnified.  Contrasted with .NET - the server
infrastructure can be setup and maintained by the existing network
staff and the app dev processes are in the reach of a small shop.

On Fri, 28 Jan 2005 12:57:48 -0600, Bob Cozzi <cozzi@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> First, they have to fix the IDE or nobody is going to continue to build
new
> apps for the 400.

I second this completely.  If you look at VS.NET, not only does the
IDE/editor understand the language, it knows the class libraries and
such, so when a class is invoked it is straight-forward to get it
invoked properly.  Further, the coding, building and debugging is all
in the same place.

I suspect that the Eclipse / WDSCi is close.

> Second, they need to add in the capability to generate starter-code
> applications. I was working on this feature for CodeStudio but when I
> decided nobody in the 400 market spends money on 3rd-party IDE's I stopped
> that effort.

I think IBM should supply the starter applications, much as Giovanni
and Mel have with CGIDEV2.  It's not as if they don't exist already.

> Third, they have to realize that we just want it to work easily, quickly
and
> without the typical 50 additional "you just need to do this" steps.

HUZZAH!

Again, contrast with .NET.  My IIS/SQL Server web server was up and
running in a day.  The IDE includes a mini-version of the server, so
the app dev on the developer PC works out of the box.  It is easy.

-- 
Tom Jedrzejewicz
tomjedrz@xxxxxxxxx
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