A Couple of RSE Quickies
March 28, 2012 Paul Tuohy
Believe it or not, there are a few features of RSE that I do not use on a daily basis. When working on my own system, my own projects, and my own development environment, I know where everything is and how to navigate it.
But (and I know you are going to find this hard to believe) there are some people who do not share my views on such things as where sources should be kept and, even more shockingly, I have to adapt to their standards when I am working on their systems. Is there no justice?
Here are a couple of those “rarely used” RSE features that I recently found particularly useful when doing some work on a client’s system.
The Scenario: The client was using the basic historical format of a source library and a program object library. Within the source library there were source physical files based on source type (QCLSRC, QDDSSRC, QRPGLESRC, etc.). Sound familiar?
The Problem: There wasn’t just one source library, there were five source libraries. And the project I was working on required that I access sources in all of these libraries. Please note that I say access–not change. Source for change were in my own development library, but I needed to view other sources.
Of course I could set up filters, but this tended to be rather tedious since nearly every source member would need to be identified as an element of the filter.
Remote Scratchpad to the rescue!
The Remote Scratchpad is a view in the Remote Systems Explorer perspective that, by default, sits alongside the Properties view, as shown in Figure 1.
The concept of the Remote Scratchpad is to provide a list of items you are currently working on. To add items to the list, simply drag and drop them from the filters in the Remote Systems view. Figure 2 shows an example of the Remote Scratchpad with a few source members and a couple of programs added. Single entries can be removed from the list using the X icon in the Remote Scratchpad toolbar or all entries can be removed using the XX icon.
Right clicking on an item provides the same context menu available from the Remote Systems view, with one little addition, Show in Remote Systems view (as shown in Figure 3).
The issue with the items listed in the Remote Scratchpad is that you have no idea where they came from (especially if your memory is as bad as mine). But it can be particularly confusing if you happen to have two source members or objects with the same name (as with PHPF01A in Figure 2). Which is which? The Show in Remote Systems view option will open the relevant filter in the Remote Systems view and position the cursor at requested source/object.
Along Those Lines
Positioning back at the source member in the Remote Systems view can also be useful when you are editing a member, especially if you want to access another member in the same filter. Yes, the name of the member is shown in the title bar or will be displayed in a pop-up if you leave the cursor on the editor tab for a couple of seconds, but that full IFS filename can be a bit of an eyeful. You can achieve the same result as the Show in Remote Systems view option from the Remote Scratchpad view by simply clicking on the Link with Editor icon in the Remote Systems toolbar, as shown in Figure 4.
I started this article by saying there were a few features of RSE that I did not use every day. I think I might be using the Remote Scratchpad a little more in the future.
Paul Tuohy is CEO of ComCon, an iSeries consulting company, and is one of the co-founders of System i Developer, which hosts the RPG & DB2 Summit conferences. He is an award-winning speaker who also speaks regularly at COMMON conferences, and is the author of “Re-engineering RPG Legacy Applications,” “The Programmers Guide to iSeries Navigator,” and the self-study course called “iSeries Navigator for Programmers.” Send your questions or comments for Paul to Ted Holt via the IT Jungle Contact page.