Although I'm still not 100% certain whether you consider RPG a good language or a bad one, I'm happy to see you agree that separation of UI and business logic makes sense (at least I think you're saying that). I disagree on your assessment of Java, of course. I consider Java to be an outstanding web enabling language, since it embodies basically all the things RPG lacks in that regard: it's OO capablities make it eminently suitable to handle the strict syntax of HTML, while it's platform independence allows you to mvoe your UI from one System i to another or even to another platform as your infrastructure requirements might dictate. But whether you like or hate JSP, we agree that platform independence for your UI is impossible using the RPG-CGI approach. Of course, very few people are actually promoting RPG-CGI anymore. And while we agree that RPG isn't well suited for modern web interfaces, you seem to still be willing to consider RPG for back end business logic. That's good, because frankly short of COBOL and RPG, there aren't any good back end business languages. You point out the data capabilities of RPG; fixed decimal precision is an absolute requirement for businesses and it's just bizarre that most so-called "modern" languages don't support it natively. Add in the requirement for simple indexed access and the COBOL/RPG procedural design is still the best in the business. To this day I challenge anyone to sit down and write an MRP explosion in any other language. I am a little hesitant to jump on the PHP bandwagon; I worry about any language that has a normal version and a "hardened" version
. Seriously, though, I have two real issues with PHP. The first is that while there are a ton of "web applications" written for PHP--lightweight applications such as content management systems and customer relationship management systems--there are very few industrial-strength business applications written in PHP. That's no surprise; it's simply too much to ask for interpreted scripting languages to perform as well as compiled procedural languages like COBOL and RPG. But as long as you leave the business back end stuff to legacy languages, I think you can use PHP for the front end (at least until some other shiny new toy comes along--me, I'll stick with JSP). More worrisome to me, though, is the business model. How does Zend plan to make money? While Zend Core is currently free on the System i, IBM's recent policy of "unbundling" seems tailor made for Zend. Get lots of people using PHP, and then in VxRy, "deprecate" the free version. Us WebSphere folks have seen that particular game more that once. I don't know if that will happen, but I don't see anybody at IBM swearing that it won't... So while your article seems to be imply that RPG is obsolete, from what I can see just about every option you outline, short of rewriting everything in Java, seems to require RPG as a back end. And that's good, because that's the architecture many of us think is the best. Joe Pluta P.S. WDSC works great on any machine with a 2GHz processor and 1GB of RAM, as long as you have a decent disk drive. Most laptops these days have 5400RPM drives which are capable of running WDSC but are not recommended. If you're going to use a laptop as your primary development device, you need to invest in 7200RPM drives, which is the absolute minimum for any desktop machine.