Windows Setup for IBM i Developers

AS400

Oct 27

Every propeller head takes some kind of perverse joy from wiping and reinstalling their Windows Machine. I know I do. After a year of various software installs, un-installs, re-installs, tweaks, hacks, dicking around (that’s a technical term) my Windows machine starts to get twitchy and a little punch drunk.

It’s time for a fresh install and this is a quick list of IBM i Specific windows tweaks and software installs I do after it comes back to life:

WINDOWS TWEAKS

If you are playing with Android APP development or just want to tinker with it then…

Turn on Developer Mode for APPS

Goto Settings -> update and security -> For developers

Select the developer mode option.

Go and grab the latest version of Android Studio and download it for free.

 

Enable LINUX on your windows machine

We all want to be Linux Nerds at heart dont we? The LINUX Layer is a Windows subsystem that lets any 64bit Windows User tinker with Linux Apps (yup, if you are stuck on smelly old 32-bit then you are shit outta luck quite unlucky) and it’s included for free with the Windows 10 Anniversary Update

Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) is a compatibility layer for running Linux binary executables (in ELF format) natively on Windows 10. WSL provides a Linux-compatible kernel interface developed by Microsoft (containing no Linux kernel code), which can then run a Linux userland on top of it, such as that of Ubuntu, SUSE or Fedora…. Such a userland might contain a Bash shell and command language, with native Linux command-line tools (sed, awk, etc.) and programming language interpreters (Ruby, Python, etc.) — Some bloke at Microsoft

Sounds quite exciting right? So, lets enable it:

Control panel ->  programs and features  – > Turn  windows features  on or off.

Check “Windows subsystem for Linux” to activate:

Tinkering with Linux is now as easy as pie.

The Windows Fall Creators Update allows Linux distributions to be installed through the Windows Store, and introduces Fedora and Suse images. This is brand new functionality so expect to see lots of new Linux APPS in the Windows APP Store 🙂

Now before I go waffling about Linux distro’s lets get back on track…

 

INSTALL SOME PRODUCTIVITY STUFF

NOTEPAD++

Notepad++ is a text editor, HTML editor and programmers editor for Windows. While it can serve as a good Notepad replacement, it also offers many powerful features for Web page authors and programmers.

It’s a free open-source application that is just great for editing text documents, html or php files and just about anything where you want to quickly edit simple text or do funky things like mass find/replace functions, macros, quick-text, highlighted source and much more.

Notably it has some nice XML, HTML and CSS reformatting tools that I use all the time.

I keep reading about RPGLE code editor plugins but I havent tried any of them yet. #shameonme

 

RPG CODE EDITOR

RDI – Rational Developer for i

IBM® Rational® Developer for i is an integrated development environment (IDE) built on the Eclipse platform. Designed for creating and maintaining applications on IBM i systems, it resides on the developer’s desktop, supporting development in both host-connected and disconnected modes.

RDi is the gold standard for IBM i Software Developers.

Install RDi

Sadly, if you are a freelance developer you will have to cough up the $900 seat license! It’s arguably worth it tho…

Mi Workplace – #1 RPG Alternative Editor

Mi Workplace – Previously known as RPGNextGen, MiWorkplace is an development environment for the IBM i platform.

It’s more than just an RPG editor, it’s an integrated development environment developed for the users and with the users.

If you cant get RDi, but can afford the annual fee (around $40) then this might be your best best!

WDSC – Outdated RPG Free Editor

Websphere Development Studio Client is the original Eclipse based RPG Editor used by RPG programmers in the late 90’s and early 2k’s. It was abandoned and came back as RDi which is rebooted, shiny and more glamorous (just like Star Trek Discovery).

WDSC is old, Deprecated but still better than SEU if that is your only option.

There are lots of other editors in this space. Take your pick.

 

5250 Emulator

RDi integrated Emulator

If you are using RDi – dont forget you have a very nice little Emulator built in.

Just right click the system name and then EMULATOR:

IBM ACS

A relatively new player on the scene. The new (rewritten) version of IBM’s old Client Access emulator is sweet.

The 5250 Emulator has fixed lots of the small annoyances I had with the old Client Access emulator. It’s now a nice experience. The simple toolbar and once click access to the IFS is a god send:

Check it out here

Mochasoft 5250

I’m a big fan of Mochasoft 5250 Emulator. I bought a license years ago and still use it daily.

It’s simple, clean and does what it says on the tin.

 

Code Testing Tools

SOAPUI

I love SOAPUI. It’s the first testing tool that I discovered when taking my first steps into the world of webservices and trying to access the internet from my dodgy old RPG Programs. It makes life simple and really helps the whole XML/JSON/SOAP/REST understanding when you are a noob

POSTMAN

The Glitzy big brother of SOAPUI. POSTMAN is a very cool and professional webservice API testing tool. I like it:

 

Install Git

Git for windows. https://git-for-windows.github.io/

After installation use this command. “git config –global core.eol lf” and “git config –global core.autocrlf input” in windows command prompt

Lots of other stuff

Which Browser?

Chrome, Opera, Firefox and Edge

Which Squisher and De-Squisher?

Winrar. end of story.

Which Video Editor?

Sony Vegas Pro

Muvee Reveal

Which Image Editor?

Adobe Paintshop CS4 – for complex and mind boggling schnizzle

GIMP for the quick and dirty stuff

GREENSHOT – Seriously this little screen grabber and editor is awesome. It’s free and I use it for all the images on this blog.

… and the list goes on.

But frankly I’ve lost interest in this blog so I am going to make a cup of coffee instead and get on with code walloping.

 

 

 

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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.