How to use named indicators in RPG


Jun 30

When is an RPG indicator more than just a number? We can use a named data structure to overlay over the top of all the indicators used in the program. Using this technique, we can define a sensible name for the each of the memory spaces associated with the indicators.

For example — when the user presses F3 to exit we can do this in the program code as

If Exit;
// leave the program

as opposed to the rather old fashioned

If *in03;
// leave the program

So lets look at it. I really like this way because *IN?? could be called anything we like…

D PtrIndicators S * Inz(%Addr(*In))
D Indicators DS Based(PtrIndicators)
D Exit 3 3N
D Cancel 12 12N
D Overflow 90 90N
D Sfldspctl 91 91N
D Sfldsp 92 92N
D Sflend 93 93N
D Sflclr 94 94N

In this example, if Indicator03 is the Exit Key then we can call it ‘EXIT’ and in our code we can say

If EXIT ‘do-something’

Which is much cleaner than ‘If *IN03 ‘do-something’ right?

When is a Function Key more than a Command Key?

Another technique I like, specifically when referencing the Functions keys (or command keys as they used to be called is to reference the first 35 keys specifically like this:

//define functions keys
 D FunctionKey s N dim(24) based(pFkeys)
 D pFkeys s * inz(%addr(*INKA))

Then you can say

If FunctionKey(01) Do-Something

I like both techniques, so take your pick!

Fun with Indicators 101.

Seton LR 🙂


About the Author

IBM i Software Developer, Digital Dad, AS400 Anarchist, RPG Modernizer, Alpha Nerd and Passionate Eater of Cheese and Biscuits. Nick Litten Dot Com is a mixture of blog posts that can be sometimes serious, frequently playful and probably down-right pointless all in the space of a day. Enjoy your stay, feel free to comment and in the words of the most interesting man in the world: Stay thirsty my friend.