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Posted by: Bob Cozzi
Rogue Programmer
Cozzi Productions, Inc.
RPG IV Much Needed and Never Implemented Features
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Published: 03 Sep 2015
Revised: 09 Oct 2015 - 1231 days ago
Last viewed on: 19 Feb 2019 (2627 views) 

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RPG IV Much Needed and Never Implemented Features Published by: Bob Cozzi on 03 Sep 2015 view comments(4)

With IBM about to drop the 80-column punch card limit for RPG source statements, I thought I'd dig into my bag of things we've asked IBM to provide in RPG IV, but still haven't received nearly 20 years after RPG IV was originally announced. These are core features, not "I need to do this one custom thing and want something simple to allow it to happen".


The new "really free format" requires that the literal *Free be the first thing in the source member. If it were my decision, I'd have implemented it as a new source member type ("SEU type") and called it a day.  Something like SEU types


Seems like a more flexible choice to me.  oh well


Many of these features are available as subprocedure calls in my COZTOOLS product, but I think they should be in the core language itself.

  1. %PGM - A built-in function to return "this" program's name.
  2. %JOBLOG - Write text (messages) to the joblog.
  3. %UPPER / %LOWER - Convert to upper or lower case.
  4. %SCANI - Scan and ignore case differences.
  5. %SNDMSG - Send Program Message
  6. %REGEX - Regular Expression Scan and Replace
  7. %TOASCII / %FROMASCII - Some way to use iconv() without all the complexities. It doesn't need to specifically be %ASCII, maybe %TRANSLATE or similar.
  8. %QCMDEXC - I'm tired of prototyping it everywhere I go. Just add it to the compiler please. %SYSTEM is an acceptible alternative.
  9. %FKEY - Returns the Fn key used to return control to the program from an EXFMT or READ to a DSPF.

Here's an article I wrote way back in early 2011 about how IBM could go "totally free format" with RPG IV. IBM has implemented much of what I had asked them to do, albeit their implementation is a bit less intuitive than I had expected. (http://www.midrangenews.com/view?id=1300)

Share your wish list in the comments below, but again, stick to core-widely-needed features, not something unique to your environment.


-Bob Cozzi


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