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John Erps
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I'm always a bit surprised / irritated when the argument is something like this, that it takes more processing time or disk space. In my view in 99% it's just a scapegoat to not follow/implement decent rules (maintainability/correct) because too much time or too difficult etc. In this day of age, especially on IBM i and Power 8 these days, disk space is abundant and cheap (compared to labor), and - especially on IBM i - there is plenty of excess processor time. So i can't really imagine that turning off something like date validation really has a noticeable impact. For me it's an obscure feature which should be only used in very specific circumstances (and really well documented) where you for example want to process a billion records with 20 date fields, in a tight loop or so. And even then. Just 3 years ago i was "advised" by an old geezer - when making an RPG/400 program - to sort the subroutines such that the one most called is at the front. Because it improves performance.... really. And other nice bits such as "use as less work fields as possible". It just means that that person really has no idea, whatsoever, what's happening in the OS (or the compiler in this specific case). I mean, putting the most called subroutine in front only has a noticeable impact if the computer still uses drum memory. The last drum memory that IBM produced was in 1962. :)
Toggle Commented Jul 31, 2014 on RPG Speed Dating at iDevelop
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Nice! However... ;) I understand the need to quickly develop mobile apps, using LongRange for example. But, for a software company to modernize, IMO, it's imperative to acquire modern skills instead of just relying on in-house RPG skills. The resulting mobile app works, yes. But, the functionality is restricted to whatever Lansa cooks up. Also, as a software company you need to know how the app works, having knowlegde not only of RPG and IBM i, but also the mobile platform and every layer inbetween. If a customer has a question about iOS for example, if something is possible, you can't say "well, i don't know i only know about green screen i check if Lansa supports this". Or if there is a problem (i.e. when it suddenly does not work) you as the company providing the solution must be able to assess the problem. It's a common problem when using "4GL" tools. It works, but we really know why and how. They are good for quick-and-dirty apps (that is built using a quick-and-dirty method) which do not have a long lifespan. But if you plan to invest for the coming 10 or 20 years in modern tech (web/mobile etc), you really ought to have real knowledge about it, and skills. Instead of relying on a black box with traditional RPG in and an iOS app out. And, it's easy to acquire these skills. Young man and woman (outside the IBM i community) enough that have these skills, and who want to apply these skills to a platform like IBM i, with it's robustness and predictability, instead of those flaky (i.e. not suited for business) platforms (web/windows).
Toggle Commented Jul 25, 2014 on Modernizing – Mincron and LANSA at You and i
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No i don't think you worry too much. Better too much than too little, especially this kind of stuff. I read about RCAC, which is a necessary feature IMO, but i didn't really delve into it and didn't know about the masking approach. Setting a mask on a column should be done very carefully, thinking about the impact of it and the effect it has when processing data. For example, like you said, when doing calculations. If the credit limit of a client is based on his salary, and the salary is always 999,999,999.99 you may have a huge problem. Masking is a nice and easy way to implement it, without needing to change the software, but only applied very carefully. But it shouldn't be the only option. So yes, i believe there should be an API to explicitly check that a value is not a "real" value but an imaginary one.
Toggle Commented Jul 2, 2014 on RCAC: Two Steps Forward ... One Back? at iDevelop
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Nice. So true. A customer sees a green screen and perceives IBM i as an old system. What they actually see is old software, but still running fine after all those years. I don't blame the customer. But they have been spoiled all those years...
Toggle Commented Jun 13, 2014 on SUGA, SunGard and Excited Customers at You and i
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Jun 13, 2014