Since the introduction of the latest Service Pack for IBM i V7 -- cunningly entitled 'Technology Release 7.1 -- RPG programmers can now finally eschew the old fixed column coding and roam around a modern free format language. Lovely jubbly.
Long overdue and in the words of Jon Paris (RPG Guru and all round Nice Geezer):
1) I hate F-specs.
I can never remember which letter goes in which column, and of course the more I use embedded SQL, the less frequently I have to code them. I almost always end up either cloning or using the prompter in RDI (about the only time I ever use it) and even then I'll get at least one thing wrong.
I also find it frustrating to have to specify every little detail. For example, if I say it is a printer file, then of course the thing is output. How many input-capable printers have you ever encountered?
Forget that the new F-specs are free-format. For me the most liberating thing about them is that they assume sensible defaults! For example, suppose I code this: