IBM has announced Rational Developer for i v9.0 the previous names included:
The new name is now, once again, RDi and comes with several new features. From the IBM charts, those features are:
Ok, so I added the "bug fixes and enhancements" to that short list because it would just be a "so what" with out.
Basically, what I've heard is that they've improved the speed and (hopefully) the reliability of the product. In addition, they've added more PC-side functionality that doesn't require going up to the host for things like the field outliner.
One feature that I'm excited to see in practice, is the Auto-Complete-Helper box. This is that little yellow window that pops up when you type in a built-in function. It has been extended to user-written functions. For example, if you have COZTOOLS in your apps, you can type in:
It will display the parameter list for that function as you type.
Beyond the Name change a handful of subtle features, not much seems to have changed for the RPG developer.
After being briefed on the features, I said, "You know why people don't move to RDp, I mean RDi? Because its too darn hard to use."
Then I went on to explain that IBM tends to make up new terms for world-wide standard names, Such as TOOLS->OPTIONS or File->Preferences.
In (for example) Visual Studio, I know that TOOLS->OPTIONS will bring up Preferences, and on Mac OS X, the Preferences menu option (under the App menu Icon) will bring up Preferences there. I know the flow in RDp to do that, but I could never answer the following question if someone were to ask: "How do I change the color of the opcodes for RPGIV in RDp?" I could fumble through it, but not "know it". This is how it is for everything in RDp today.
People don't intuitively know how to do simple things with it, like how to change the horrible default Font Colors in RPG, or to simply force the Host Server Member List to "Stick" once they've purposely closed it. Sure you can do this stuff, but we now live in a world-wide web world, not an IBM world, so the terms and process should be either the same as or better than what has been in place for decades. Not buried 3 to 10 levels deep in menus that have terms nobody has ever used in their lives.
They said "Huh, we never thought of that, we're just Engineers. We'll look at that."
And I was happy to see them writing things down. So maybe v9.5 will be even better?