Bone Up on Free-Form RPG with developerWorks
January 14, 2014 Alex Woodie
The new free-form RPG specs delivered with IBM i 7.1 TR7 are the most exciting thing to happen to the language since RPG Open Access was unveiled four years ago. Last week, IBM published a developerWorks guide on how to program within the new free-form method.
Free-form RPG is intended to move the language away from its fixed-format roots and put it on par with other commonly used languages, such as Visual Basic, Java, and PHP. The idea is to make RPG more enticing to learn, and introduce the language to a new generation of programmers.
IBM software engineers Scott Hanson and Jing Li put together a 12-page guide to help coders understand how to use the new opcodes for H, F, D and P specs (the C specs were already moved to free form, while the seldom-used I and O specs have yet to be liberated into the free-form realm).
IBM made several changes to the specifications in concert with the move to free-format coding. The developerWorks article covers the changes for the various specs, with a particular focus on all the changes to the declaration statement (D spec).
You can download the PDF, titled “Free-form RPG support on IBM i: Overview of recent RPG compiler free-form changes,” at www.ibm.com/developerworks/ibmi/library/i-ibmi-rpg-support/.