RPG Code Modernization made simple
or a tale of taking old crusty gray haired legacy RPG and making it modern rich and vibrant -- or is that over playing it too much? ;)
The more I play with the latest version of IBM's programming language 'RPG' the more I like it. It's a quantum leap from the old RPG column based style of the 1990's and the latest version of RPGLE is free format, readable and easy to code. It's moved away from the old clunky keyboard terminals of pre-internet days and has all the bells and whistles of any modern language coded using modern IDE's. The trouble with RPG is it's astounding success during the 90's and the billions of lines of code written globally that are still running in today.
If it's not broke -- dont fix it!
This is the problem. How do we sell the benefits of a rich modern programming language when the old program is simply running, with no errors for years and possibly decades?
The simple solution to this is to keep the same program! Wouldnt it be nice if there was a way to automatically modernize the program source code so that it was upgraded to the latest version but still functioned exactly the same and was able to be maintained in the same legacy way. Wouldnt it be nice if there was a utility that would take any System36 RPG2, any System38 RPG3, any AS400 RPG400 or any version of column based RPG and convert to modern easily maintained RPGLE program code?