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Posted by: Bob Cozzi
Rogue Programmer
Cozzi Productions, Inc.
Chicagoland
IBM Too Big to Succeed?
has no ratings.
Published: 10 Jun 2014
Revised: 14 Jul 2014 - 989 days ago
Last viewed on: 29 Mar 2017 (2071 views) 

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IBM Too Big to Succeed? Published by: Bob Cozzi on 10 Jun 2014 view comments(8)

Is IBM Too Big to Succeed?

I've been listening to talks about IBM's Java-based GUI Developer Tool, known as "Rationsl Developer for [insert product ID here]. For us IBM i folks, this is RDi or "Rational Developer for i".

Overall RDi is an okay product. It does a lot, about 80 percent of that capability is uninteresting to IBM i developers, and of that 80 percent, at least 70 percent will never be used by IBM i developers.

RDi isn't by any stretch of the world "modern". It does a few very cool things, like the code outliner, compare tool, subroutine nesting/jumping, and the navigator. The screen design tool for DDS Display Files is okay, but a bit awkward to use, but not bad. For RPG editing its okay, and often works as expected. The only serious bug in the tool has been immediately after compiling where the double-click to select and cursor-to-select features break and you have to know the secret to get them working again. (The secret is to double click on a line that contains no errors, but contains some code and force it to select something. Then it usually starts working again.)

I'm ont trying to bash RDi it is what we have and now that PC's have gotten fast enough to "fix it with hardware" the product is finally usable for most people.

But RDi today, save the few cool items I've point out, is doing very little more than what I wrote back in 1992 in my "Visual RPG" product for windows. This was a programmer's editor for RPG and related software, but it also had support for most other languages. It did the syntax highlighting, had a source file member directory tree on the left side (double-click to download) and one-click compiles. It too used the Events files (as does RDi) to retrieve the compiler error messages. A double click on the message windows and it too jumped to the line with the error. Visual RPG actually did it better because it didn't leave the errors embedded in the source until the next compile.

My point here is that trying to get people to use RDi by referring to it as "modern" vs SEU is a really stupid idea. Why? The AS/400 was announced back in 1988 and arguably was the last time SEU (Edit Source) was substancially updated. IBM did CODE/400 which was a good first-effort at a Windows-based (it was original OS/2-based) RPG editor. Visual RPG was introduced in 1992, some 4 years after 5250-based SEU. RDi has virtually nothing new compared to Visual RPG, so how is technology that is 4 years younger than SEU considered "modern"? It's not.

The fact, most (all?) major platforms have gone through several iterations of Development Environments--today they are all based on the supported User Interface of their host operating system. IBM made the wrong decision back in the mid-1990s when it decided it could not do a native GUI for this operating system. So we have 5250 or "green screen" as its called. But to try to convince people that SEU which is 26 years old, (I know it came out in release 2 of CPF on S/38, but I'm making a point here) is some how worse than RDi which uses technology that is 22 years old is like saying "You need to move to this new car based on the 1992 Buick Skylark because the one based on the 1988 Corvette is old technology".

All this continues the point, that IBM does not now, nor has it ever, known how to market anything.

 

 

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COMMENTS

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Posted by: Paulster
Premium member *
Sweden and The Netherlands
Comment on: IBM Too Big to Succeed?
Posted: 2 years 9 months 19 days 6 hours 45 minutes ago

Dunno bout the skylark but prefer the vette. Not so for seu vs rdi/rdp, I'll choose the latter any day. Major downside for my choice is price.in my opinion rd* should be free of charge. Due to this I mainly use wdsc, the last free version to be precise. Old as it may be, it does the job I require. Sure it would be nice to have visual studio for rpg but it does not exist, yet. So, I'm probably missing the point of your comment or you are including your own ide in the next version of your bob-ware.    

Posted by: bobcozzi
Site Admin ****
Chicagoland
Comment on: IBM Too Big to Succeed?
Posted: 2 years 9 months 19 days 5 hours 48 minutes ago

cool Nope, just bitchin' and moaning that a $100 billion company can't do what a guy in his garage did 20 years ago. Frustrating to keep paying for updates or SWMA and not have any new features or bug fixes.

Posted by: Paulster
Premium member *
Sweden and The Netherlands
Comment on: IBM Too Big to Succeed?
Posted: 2 years 9 months 17 days 7 hours 27 minutes ago

...very much like ms office, you pay for a gulfstream and use it as a piper cup while you could have used libre office instead. A rather personal question if you don't mind: do you have a garage?   :-)

Posted by: neilrh
Premium member *
Jackson, MI
Comment on: IBM Too Big to Succeed?
Posted: 2 years 9 months 17 days 4 hours 47 minutes ago

For one simple reason...

SEU is "stable" at V6, and as such is a PITA when using more recent built-in functions and other features, as the syntax checker thinks the new stuff is in error.

Posted by: bobcozzi
Site Admin ****
Chicagoland
Comment on: IBM Too Big to Succeed?
Posted: 2 years 9 months 16 days 9 hours 17 minutes ago

Welcome back Neil!

I agree, it is a PITA that they froze it at V6 and then added like 2 new features in V7 (%PARMNUM and %SCANRPL) so that using them gives you that lovely DSPATR(RI) false alarm. But on the other hand, it is good for making sure you don't exceed your target releases when V5R4 or V6R1 is the target.

Posted by: GFuste
Premium member *
Jacksonville, FL
Comment on: IBM Too Big to Succeed?
Posted: 2 years 9 months 11 days 12 hours 4 minutes ago
Edited: Thu, 19 Jun, 2014 at 09:21:16 (1014 days ago)

30 years of programming and development on the "midrange" platform and I can still code anything faster using SEU than RAD/Rdi or whatever the flavor is now.  Yes the GUI app has some neat features and that's good.  But my biggest gripe is all of the plug-ins.  Case in point, RTC (Jazz).  Every time a new version comes out for RAD it's either compatible or not compatible with RTC.  The constant battles and frustrations of seeing compatible code go bad after an upgrade is simply annoying.  I guess this is the fallout of the modern world we live in now where software releases (for the better? haha) are a constant scourge and source of revenue that do more harm than good. 

Posted by: bobcozzi
Site Admin ****
Chicagoland
Comment on: IBM Too Big to Succeed?
Posted: 2 years 8 months 29 days 9 hours 55 minutes ago

If SEU did not exist, or more accurately, PDM, I would have to build them myself in order to continue to do development for this platform. I use RDi all day, every day, and its fine for editing. But compiling and projects (a set of related source code that is to be compiled to a specific library and in a specific way) are not at all intuitive nor are they "smart". I've been using Visual Studio for 20+ years and it was Smart on Day 1. IBM let MS Access and most other database systems catch up to DB2 over the last two decades, you'd think they would have at least caught up to what MS was doing 25 years ago when it comes to the IDE.

Posted by: neilrh
Premium member *
Jackson, MI
Comment on: IBM Too Big to Succeed?
Posted: 2 years 8 months 16 days 5 hours 50 minutes ago

I agree - while I'm predominately bashing code in RDi. When it comes to compiles, moving source to production, etc, I'm still solidly in green screen world.