Reader Feedback on RPG Open Access Is No Panacea and As I See It: Depriving the Senses
May 3, 2010 Timothy Prickett Morgan
As you might have expected, IBM‘s decision to open up the RPG compiler and runtime to allow others to create custom data streams to other applications and devices has got a lot of people thinking and even more of them talking.
We told you all about Rational Open Access, RPG Edition two weeks ago, and then BCD Software and LANSA piped up with their opinion on ROA in last week’s issue. There’s been a lot of back and forth at the water cooler, on the newsgroups, and in the press about this, and it won’t subside any time soon is my guess.
Following is what a few readers had to say.
I trust you will give Profound Logic, looksoftware, and VAI the opportunity to respond. This statement by BCD and LANSA is quite surprising given the fact that RPG developers have been begging IBM for years for a way to do just exactly what Open Access provides, especially when combined with the Profound Logic UI product. Full disclosure: I’m a Profound Logic RPGsp customer.
Is Open Access a panacea? Not likely, but it offers far, far more than “no practical use.” For the first time in many years my developers are excited!
I must admit, however, that I am confounded by why IBM handed the development of the GUI interface code to ISVs instead of doing it themselves. But it appears the ISV products and Rational Open Access have “reasonable” pricing. I don’t think this will be out of reach for most companies that use IBM i. This appears to be an elegant solution to the age-old problem of developing robust browser-based applications using RPG.
Time will tell what challenges this approach will present, but I can’t imagine how it could be any more challenging than the methods we have created to date.
Nice piece. IBM i is going retro!
Too bad the product is not as nice as your article. I have no stake in the game anymore, but the game still looks the same. The IBM i All-Everything Operating System still has everything but a graphical user interface. As such it is like an huge all-powerful brain with no means of outward communications.
IBM has chosen again to pretend not to know what the small business market needs, so it justifies its reasons to not deliver. Instead of the most elegant and sophisticated operating system in the world being the most simple to use for a mom and pop shop to engage in complex computing and hardly notice, IBM keeps adding additional layers of incomprehensible intricacy. How many layers of products does it take now to send a simple application panel to the ubiquitous universal client, a.k.a., the Web browser? “Hello World” keeps getting tougher to write!
Sorry IBM, only large and/or sophisticated shops have the talent to engage your once user-friendly system for Web purposes. Perhaps some clever hacker of the future may invent a new CRT-type device in his garage that say, uses that spiffy 5250 green screen protocol. Perhaps it will catch on like the famous DEC VT 100 CRT line. Then, IBM i will have a natural place to send its information panels. In PC parlance, IBM will have to build no drivers to support the new UI device of the future.
Until then, IBM’s re-affirmed decision to have no user interface on its most sophisticated operating system assures it of one day being able to replace the mainframe in corporate America. I look forward to the days again when shops can get to close down for business for the weekend to generate a new user interface.
By then, it won’t matter. Perhaps it doesn’t matter now. I am not sure who will be around to cheer when Frank Soltis’ little marvel finally is so unintelligible that the mainframe establishment warmly accepts it. My small business clients are well on their way to Windows and most, when they get there, stop looking back!
Industry pundit and i-vangelist Trevor Perry piped up in his Angus The IT Chap blog about the criticisms that BCD and LANSA have made about ROA outlined in our story. And as you might expect, Perry made some of his own criticisms of the criticisms.
Round Three coming up soon. I told you there would be possibilities. And one of those is that tool vendors and programmers end up bickering with each other for a while.
Victor Rozek struck another chord, rather than some nerves as he sometimes does, with his As I See It: Depriving the Senses in last week’s issue, which discussed the isolation and physical issues we face in an increasingly computerized world.
Thanks for another insightful article. Note the correlation in the rise of digital dependence and the increase in the popularity of extreme sports, such as high-end skateboarding. It seems we have a bi-model distribution in society along this dimension, as we do along the economic, educational, and many other dimensions.
Very good, agree 100-plus percent. My wife was just discussing her concern for this very type of thing yesterday, lack of personal contact in specific.
Victor, in the spirit of your article, I would much rather talk to you face to face over a refreshing beverage.
You’ve hit the nail on the proverbial head with this one. While ALL of your articles are excellent, insightful, and thought-provoking, this one has particular meaning for me.
In addition to my day/night job as an IT consultant with IBM, I also do a lot of mentoring/coaching on work and life, as well study/teach Tai Chi Chuan.
Sensing is everything.
Relaxation, alignment, and balance are the keys to success.
Thank you once again for a very useful article, and for the reminder.
Woe be to me who works with computers on a daily basis AT A BANK!! Luckily, I have a whole yard full of physical distractions to deter me from spending too much time inside during my off-work hours. However, I still find myself in a constant battle with the “belly beast.” Thanks for the article(s).