A Fastpath To Open A Specific Member In RSE
April 7, 2015 Susan Gantner
One of the first tips I ever wrote for Four Hundred Guru was about keyboard shortcuts for RSE. It was written so long ago, I was talking about WDSC. None of the Rational variants of the product name had come to be at that time. It even predates my downloadable cheat sheet for My Favorite Keyboard Shortcuts for RSE. As you can see if you look at the cheat sheet, I’ve added a lot more favorites since the original article.
The shortcuts in those original tips still work with the recent Rational versions of RSE with one exception. The Ctrl+Shift+A shortcut does technically still work, but not in the way most of us would like it to–unless you have already customized it. Out-of-the-box versions of Rational Developer for i (a.k.a. RDi) have this shortcut mapped to two different functions. As a result RDI reacts to this shortcut by putting up a small yellow box in the bottom right corner of the screen showing the two options. One is for opening a member, the other is for opening a plug-in artifact, as shown below.
You can click on the one you want (i.e., to open a member) and it will pop up the dialog box you’re looking for (shown below). But it does seem to defy the term “shortcut” when it takes multiple steps. The purpose of this tip is to help you get this to work the way you want.
The beauty of this dialog box is that it gives you a quick way to open a specific member by name so that you don’t need to locate the member in the Remote Systems view to open it. Note that there are dropdown options for each entry field. These remember the last 20 libraries/source files/members that you have opened recently. You can also edit that history yourself to clear or re-sequence the list (click on the icon between the entry field and the Browse button to do this). So if you have been working on a project that requires you open the same source members every day for a while, you could ensure that those members appear near the top of your dropdown history list to make it faster to open them up each day as you work on the project.
However, we still need to figure out how to stop the yellow box from slowing down access to this dialog. Below are the steps to do that. I’ve also made a short video demonstrating these steps since the description of the process makes it sound a lot tougher than it really is! You view the demo and see just how quickly this can be done here.
1. Find the Keys preferences page. There are multiple ways to do this, but I find the fastest way is to use another shortcut: Ctrl+Shift+L. But do it twice. The first time will bring up another yellow box; do it again and it takes you directly to the Keys preference page.
2. In the filter entry box near the top of this dialog (just above the “Command” list box) key in the first few letters of the action/command that you want to change. If you’re at RDi V9.1, it begins “Open an IBM i member. . .” but in earlier releases it began “Open a member. . . .” In either case, you can probably find what you need if you simply key in “Open a” in that search box. You should now be able to locate the “open a member” command you are looking for in the list of items in the Command box. Select that command in the list and it will populate some other fields and boxes, most notably the Conflicts box in the lower right part of the dialog. There you will see the two options that appeared earlier in the yellow box that we’re working to get rid of.
3. At this point, the option to open a member should appear in the Conflicts box and it should also show up on the left side by “Name”, just underneath the three buttons (Copy Command, Unbind Command, and Restore Command). Now click the “Unbind Command” button. This action should clear the Conflicts box on the right and the Binding box on the left.
4. Now click into the Binding box entry field. Next, do the action of Ctrl+Shift+A. Note that you don’t spell it out, just use the three keys together, and that will plug in the letters Ctrl+Shift+A into the Binding box.
5. This is the part that trips some people up. Notice that this preferences dialog is very wide such that on many workstations you won’t be able to see all the buttons near the bottom right. If you see a scroll bar at the bottom, use it to scroll all the way to right so that you can see the all important “Apply” button. Press Apply. Then Press OK underneath. This should take you back to your RSE perspective.
If all has gone well, you should now be able to use Ctrl+Shift+A to bring up the Open a Member dialog. In this workspace, you should never need to go through this process again. Even if you don’t think you’ll want to use this feature right away, I’d advise you to go ahead and take a few minutes to “fix” this shortcut now. You never know when you will find it a useful tool and it may take you a while to find this tip again to figure out how to do it.
Susan Gantner is half of Partner400, a consulting company focused on education on modern programming and database techniques and tools on the IBM i platform. She is also a founding partner in System i Developer, a consortium of System i educators and hosts of the RPG & DB2 Summit conferences. Susan was a programmer for corporations in Atlanta, Georgia, before joining IBM. During her IBM career, she worked in both the Rochester and Toronto labs, providing technical support and education for application developers. Susan left IBM in 1999 to devote more time to teaching and consulting. Together with Jon Paris, she now runs Partner400, and appears regularly at many technical conferences, including System i Developer’s RPG & DB2 Summit. Send your questions or comments for Susan to Ted Holt via the IT Jungle Contact page.