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  • nandelin
    replied
    Happy New Year (Sort Of)

    ** This thread discusses the article: Happy New Year (Sort Of) **
    Good point, Joe. In the platform wars is seems that three (3) main business stragegies have emerged. One strategy is to keep everything proprietary, where Wintel is the current champion of proprietary platforms. On the other end of the spectrum is platform assimilation, where a virtual machine assimilates all platforms into one, where the Java Virtual Machine is the current champion of platform assimilation. In the middle is platform integration, where IBM is positioning the iSeries as the champion of integration. In my opionion, a platform integration strategy offers the best long-term prospects. Nathan Andelin

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Happy New Year (Sort Of)

    ** This thread discusses the article: Happy New Year (Sort Of) **
    Best lambasting towards IBM ever and how true. I have been in this field working on IBM's since the early 80's. First the system 3,next the system 38,AS400 then to the iseries(numerous numbers to recount) then finally i5box. These all have been truly magnificent machines but the transition to each of these has been excruciating at best. And help at there web sites? Hawkeye had an easier time of ordering ribs in Chicago then finding the needed information to proceed. Hats off to you Bob and even in the mix of this you are still the best Ally and champion that IBM/RPG world will ever have!

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  • R.Daugherty
    replied
    Happy New Year (Sort Of)

    ** This thread discusses the article: Happy New Year (Sort Of) **
    InformationWeek published a letter to the editor from me this week, I am happy to say. They had an issue on the federal government's problems with overwhelming software failures. I consider it a scandal that has sucked our nation dry of the billions of dollars we spent for critical software needed to run and secure our nation, but now have nothing to show for it and we're out of money. What used to work, and still works, is proven RPG and COBOL, but IBM and Oracle had to disabuse everyone of that notion because their future depends on RPG and COBOL being thrown away and being replaced with Java J2EE products. Their future depends on it, indeed their very existence. Continued use of proven software is not what they are selling. Every critical new government function we need as a country is a failure, and it gets worse. I've followed the stories on the FBI Case System, a $170 million software failure, through the years. I'm not an insider, just a business programmer working on large systems, interested in our many large tax funded software development failures. But in my opinion, most of what has been said is a con job. The failed architecture is three tier Java with web pages, J2EE, running against Oracle, which is the choice for much new development based on IT news reports. In fact, a little too leading edge as far as I am concerned, and I think there are many failures across the government to back me up on that. But the real con is to trot out bleeding edge technology, SOA web services, and bet the farm on another try with even newer unproven architecture, while they repeat nearly every statement made by predecessors who went with the previous mix of bleeding edge technologies. I mean, isn't there anybody in Washington who thinks it unwise to keep leaping further ahead of what our business world runs on after previous leaps ended in multi-hundred million dollar disasters? While all the while badmouthing the systems that actually work? I'm an RPG programmer on the AS/400, and there's a reason that Fortune 1000 companies run their business on the AS/400, including document imaging such as the Case System would require, with the tightest certified security in OS/400. There's not a thing that was described as requirements that aren't met with legacy RPG systems running on the AS/400, including all Sarb-Ox, auditing, and security requirements, document imaging and retention, secure remote access, web enablement where desired, 24/7 transaction processing, mirrowed processing with a backup site, and on and on, that we already have in place. And terabytes of data to process. These are multi-billion dollar companies, tens of billions, running on the AS/400. Why are we successful meeting the massive requirements the government needs to meet in RPG on the AS/400 when I find it hard to point to any similarly successful large government systems developed, anywhere in the government, ever since web enabled and SQL became the industry mantra? I don't know, we use plenty of both, but where appropriate. I saw where the Navy has a massive supply chain software development failure, and I'm thinking, please tell me what they do that Wal-Mart doesn't? And what does Wal-Mart run on? You can betcha it's not whatever the latest multi-billion dollar con job is. I think they use the AS/400 too. That money is going straight to the largest consulting companies who show nothing for our billions except a new contract for yet another stab at it. We are being conned out of billions of dollars by consultants using the W word. If they say web enabled, you can count on two things. They will fail, and it will cost us hundreds of millions of dollars. But it has nothing to do with web enabled, and everything to do with the con. Bleeding edge isn't even enough to keep the con going. It's now said by people who haven't developed a working system for the government in years that it's hard to predict what technology may exist in the future when budgeting a new system. Doesn't anybody have enough sense to know that technology should be stable enough to already exist when you're betting our very country's security on the software you're developing? Look at any current software failure, which as far as I can tell is every government software system attempting to be developed, and look at the role that software is supposed to play in our country's security, and this is not just a waste of our taxpayer's money anymore. This has been going on since COBOL and RPG on IBM iron was tossed in favor of Java and SQL at IBM and Oracle's urging. Since then I haven't heard of any major important government projects able to actually work and be put into production. It's time to stop scoffing at legacy RPG and COBOL and start considering why business is successful using it and the government unsuccessful using people who aren't. What makes OS/400 software work against massive requirements is a highly efficient RPG business language and native database IO with whatever GUI interface we want to use. We have a government that critically needs working cost effective software, and the AS/400 is proven by our Fortune 1000's to do just that. It's time for our government to start leveraging the software success of the AS/400 that is legend, not legacy. That software is RPG. But people who charge you billions will never tell you that. rd

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  • J.Pluta
    replied
    Happy New Year (Sort Of)

    ** This thread discusses the article: Happy New Year (Sort Of) **
    And as you know, Nathan, there are many of us developing for the platform, with various architectural approaches, ranging from pure CGI to your framework to my framework to pure Java and even EJB solutions. The remarkable thing about the system is that it can support just about any application design you can dream up. I get as discouraged as you by the folks who insist the platform is dying when it's clearly being positioned as the central server in the next generation of heterogeneous networks. Joe

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  • nandelin
    replied
    Happy New Year (Sort Of)

    ** This thread discusses the article: Happy New Year (Sort Of) **
    Bob, A new year is traditionally a time for assessing your life and making resolutions to improve it. Next year, rather than writing a piece flaming IBM, how about telling us about things you plan on doing in the coming year, relevant to the iSeries community that will improve your life or that of the community, and encouraging others to do the same. This new year's article was discouraging, frankly. And it attracted a lot of negative opinions from people who might have left the iSeries platform in one way or another, but can't leave it alone. The work I'll be doing in 2006 is some of the most interesting, challenging, and important of any in my career in IT, which began in 1982. I work for an ISV which is developing a comprehensive new product line for the K-12 education market. The UI is Web based. Most of the server code is RPG. I'm personally responsible for developing a native portal, framework, program models, and tools to assist other developers. It's tiresome, hearing from the crowd claiming RPG is dead, or that IBM is killing the platform, or that we should move on to something else, when a fair number of us are investing in it successfully, including folks at IBM. Nathan Andelin.

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  • R.Daugherty
    replied
    Happy New Year (Sort Of)

    ** This thread discusses the article: Happy New Year (Sort Of) **
    Some quick responses to an excellent article and thread. The only way I'm ever able to find anything related to IBM anymore is with Google. Has anyone ever tried to do a search on an IBM site? They were so pathetic it was laughable. I don't know about now. I gave up trying to find anything on their sites a long time ago. The short answer to every question about what IBM has done to the best computer system on the planet is Websphere, but that doesn't help anybody. I do have some longer winded observations on some posts though. Concerning the alleged long in the tooth of the RPG workforce, we don't have teeth at our age. Just joking. In fact, I have worked with hundreds of RPG programmers over the last 16 years. At age 53, I have usually been the oldest among them anywhere I've been. Sure, there's a couple here or there that were older, but few and far between. Moreover, the remainder are not a homogeneous grouping in their late 40's or something. They run the gamut from 20's on up like any other programming group. I was out of work in 2004 but got to interview at a few places around the country, and the programming staff ran the gamut wherever I went. In fact, it's a given in my mind that my age was a major detriment to me getting another RPG programming job, given that nearly everybody I interviewed with, managers and programmers, were younger than me. And the interviewers were rarely if ever less experienced than my 15 years on the AS/400 while interviewing. I was writing PC assembler through the 80's and didn't start RPG programming until 1989 on the AS/400, although I operated a System 3 Model 10 in the 70's and before that an NCR 101, after learning my way around computer punch card and teletype processing on the UNIVAC 1050-II in the Air Force. But I digress. Sure, a lot of smaller shops bit the dust when the companies folded and the work went to China. A lot of smaller Sys/3x's and their programmers bit the dust with them. No doubt. But I really have to wonder if exposure to AS/400 shops would justify the statements about RPG programmers. There are others here, professional consultants, with far wider exposure to the industry than I have and I have never seen them post confirmations of these negative images portrayed by others on this. As for the, ahem, shall we say experienced ages of typical forum participants, and for that matter user group participants, that's just a function of who has the time and interest to participate. I'm sorry to say most people have a life and better things to do while I sit here and type this, but in any event, I base my statements on real life exposure to a wide range of AS/400 shops through the years, and the statements about the age and lack of skill and interest in learning technology of RPG programmers are just absolutely not what I've seen and experienced. I don't know what it's based on. When we have something that works and we keep using it because it works, that's a good thing for us and our company, not a bad thing. As for learning RPG, I learned it from a consulting company class and I have interviewed and recommended for hiring several young people out of college who went to company RPG classes. If they're a programmer who's at all interested in business, and most are, and the opportunity is there, many welcome the opportunity. It doesn't need to be taught in school. But I forsee more and more some type of COBOL and RPG type training available from school and elsewhere as I received from a consulting company after they hired me as business starts cutting their losses on the hype of IBM and Oracle whose very existence requires that business no longer count on the proven RPG and COBOL. Now to go find a life, or dream of one anyway. rd

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Happy New Year (Sort Of)

    ** This thread discusses the article: Happy New Year (Sort Of) **
    "And now, the biggest frustration. Think about this: I can buy a $500,000 house or a $50,000 automobile or $50,000 in Dell servers in anywhere from an hour (for the servers) to a day or two (for the house or car) and have basically one piece of paper to sign and process." Apparently it's easier to by an iSeries Server via eBay.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Happy New Year (Sort Of)

    ** This thread discusses the article: Happy New Year (Sort Of) **
    I only use the blog, I didn't write it. (See followup post to read content posted at blog) But your point is not missed; that J2EE-based applications are complex. I can make the same statement in fact about RPGIV or RPGIV/ILE based applications. In either venue, there are simple architectures and there are complex ones where each is owing its construction to solving the problem at hand. I can write a simple CL program that can bring the iSeries to the point of requiring an IPL, but I don't. There's no point. I can write an RPGIV application using nothing but goto's and left-handed indicators. Again, I dont because it's pointless. The same frame of mind can be applied to J2EE applications; I can write poorly constructed web-sites, but the goal is the contrary; a reliable application. The distinction is this; in the web-based venue, anyone, and I mean anyone, can write a web-site application, such as that blog I use. But everyone cannot write an RPG application. Those are left to professionals who strive to be the best in their field. The trouble with the web venue is that its full of non-professionals or newbies to the field and there are web sites which reflect that fact.

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  • nandelin
    replied
    Happy New Year (Sort Of)

    ** This thread discusses the article: Happy New Year (Sort Of) **
    I tried to access jroller.com but got the following, which interestingly exposes some of the complexity (unreliability) of frameworks running under J2EE: java.io.FileNotFoundException: /page/JavaBoy at com.caucho.server.dispatch.PageFilterChain.doFilte r(PageFilterChain.java:141) at com.caucho.server.webapp.DispatchFilterChain.doFil ter(DispatchFilterChain.java:115) at com.caucho.server.dispatch.ServletInvocation.servi ce(ServletInvocation.java:208) at com.caucho.server.webapp.RequestDispatcherImpl.for ward(RequestDispatcherImpl.java:268) at com.caucho.server.webapp.RequestDispatcherImpl.err or(RequestDispatcherImpl.java:113) at com.caucho.server.webapp.ErrorPageManager.handleEr rorStatus(ErrorPageManager.java:539) at com.caucho.server.webapp.ErrorPageManager.sendErro r(ErrorPageManager.java:434) at com.caucho.server.connection.AbstractHttpResponse. sendError(AbstractHttpResponse.java:491) at com.caucho.server.connection.AbstractHttpResponse. sendError(AbstractHttpResponse.java:448) at org.roller.presentation.filters.RefererFilter.doFi lter(RefererFilter.java:114) at com.caucho.server.dispatch.FilterFilterChain.doFil ter(FilterFilterChain.java:70) at org.roller.presentation.filters.RequestFilter.doFi lter(RequestFilter.java:156) at com.caucho.server.dispatch.FilterFilterChain.doFil ter(FilterFilterChain.java:70) at org.roller.presentation.filters.PersistenceSession Filter.doFilter(PersistenceSessionFilter.java:54) at com.caucho.server.dispatch.FilterFilterChain.doFil ter(FilterFilterChain.java:70) at com.caucho.server.webapp.WebAppFilterChain.doFilte r(WebAppFilterChain.java:163) at com.caucho.server.dispatch.ServletInvocation.servi ce(ServletInvocation.java:208) at com.caucho.server.http.HttpRequest.handleRequest(H ttpRequest.java:259) at com.caucho.server.port.TcpConnection.run(TcpConnec tion.java:363) at com.caucho.util.ThreadPool.runTasks(ThreadPool.jav a:490) at com.caucho.util.ThreadPool.run(ThreadPool.java:423 ) at java.lang.Thread.run(Thread.java:595)

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Happy New Year (Sort Of)

    ** This thread discusses the article: Happy New Year (Sort Of) **
    The posted link may present problems so here is the body of that opinion: After reading a few threads on the topic I see the debate about the future of RPG and the iSeries is still lively. No matter what one thinks about it though, the fact remains that both seem to have seen better days. However, it will be some time before we see the end of either one. It is difficult for companies to buy into the idea that all of those RPG applications should be rewritten into browser-based applications solely on the basis that it looks as though green-screen is dead and graphical interfaces are the way to go. But, there's another side to this. I recently had the opportunity to listen to a colleague reflect upon his recent user's-group meeting. He was lamenting over the observations made about the age of the group in general and about what seemed to be on the forefront of their collective minds. As he moved about the assembly, he would approach a group here and there hoping to participate in a technically oriented discussion about the iSeries, Java, RPG-IV, WebSphere, etc. What he discovered instead was that each group was engaged in topics pertaining to early retirement, the RV just purchased to use to see the country in, the grandkids, family pictures, 401k investing strategies; everything was being discussed except those technical topics. For my colleague and myself, the experience was painting a clear picture that the domestic workforce making a living off of this machine is growing long in the tooth and that there is very little new blood (and enthusiasm) to champion its virtues. The other message was that the group is just biding their time to when they don?t have to work anymore and there is little interest in learning anything new, i.e. Java, WebSphere, etc. After all, whole systems can be created by using only DDS, CL and RPG-IV, so what else is there to know, right? And don't think management doesn't know this, either. From their magazine-oriented perspective, that older workforce is not cheap. (Enter outsourcing.) They can see that while the machine is solid as a rock, the work pool from which to draw resources is expensive and getting somewhat shallower. Without outsourcing (and I am no champion of that version of brain drain) companies today may be hard-pressed to be able to keep the machine regardless of how robust it is. The goal of every company is to make money and margins being what they are, any leap in pay scale only makes a measurable profit harder to come by. If that weren't enough to make a bad situation worse, RPG is not taught in schools today to the same degree as it once was. Even if a class could be found, the idea of a young student wanting to enroll in the course seems a little far-fetched. It would be tantamount to taking a course to learn to use the slide rule, which is still around somewhere I'm sure, but why use one? From the student's perspective it doesn't make sense to use limited time and resources to learn of discipline which may not be readily applied, or, generate any income. Moreover, IBM doesn't seem to be helping the situation any either. One only has to listen to any one of their commercials to know where the income comes from; services and any open-source based software solution using one of their Intel-based servers. Don't believe it? Mull this over; A short year or so ago, I read a memo which came from the big-enchilada at IBM which stated that by the end of this year, all desktop machines will need to be converted to use Linux and asked each employee to work toward meeting that goal. Why? IBM, selling open source solutions, can ill-afford a prospective solutions buyer pointing an accusing finger at IBM's internal I.T. culture and asking why they run Microsoft?s OS. The bottom line is simple. Business climates change. New echnologies are continually developed and used to provide business solutions. The workforce is dynamic too, changing with those technologies unless of course, they are getting ready to retire. I got my start on a System 3 Model 10 and evolved with the machine all the way to the iSeries today. Earlier this year (Feb 2005), I turned away from the idea of only working in an IBM shop and I am now a Java developer. I wrote my last RPG program a couple of years ago. It pains me to see the dwindling popularity of the most robust machine on the planet and as it goes, so does RPG. I did not want to have to take my next job in Croatia or some other hard-to-commute place so I changed with the times. Being platform agnostic is not such a bad thing and after all, the iSeries can still fill a roll of being the most robust DB server on the planet. With the iSeries and DB/400, who needs a DBA? As long as electricity surges through the machine, I've never seen the database refuse to work as I?ve seen with Oracle or Sybase. It's all about the technology and picking the right one. Just as important, all of us should be ready to recognize change and be willing to re-tool ourselves for that change.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Happy New Year (Sort Of)

    ** This thread discusses the article: Happy New Year (Sort Of) **
    The scary part about this realization is that when iSeries interest deminishes, so goes the prospects for RPG related work. In other words, RPG exists so long as the machine exists. See http://jroller.com/page/JavaBoy for an in-depth opinion regarding the iSeries and RPG.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Happy New Year (Sort Of)

    ** This thread discusses the article: Happy New Year (Sort Of) **
    Good article. Only a few comments ... RE:To this day, IBM continues to be blind to the fact that it has the best computer system in the world in the iSeries. IBM does not want to make and sell hardware it seems. They are a service provider and the local consultant providing those services may offer the machine as an afterthought. "Wanna buy an iSeries? No? Just the Intel server then? Ok." RE:and RPG IV is release-fragmented to the point that it is nearly impossible to teach an "RPG IV" course. You have to teach "RPG IV at V5Rx" (insert your release for the "x"). I've said it several times: IBM has only succeeded in making dialects of RPGIV. They have not done us any favors by doing this. The emphasis for the change was ILE. It was an idea with a very small audience of multi-language shops. Nothing more. Even for them, it is not better for it only encourages language fragmentation. Been there; done that and the lesson learned was it is never a good thing. RE:Why is it that IBM makes the most compelling and sophisticated computer system on the planet, yet IBM is the only major computer manufacturer that makes customers jump through hoops just to purchase a system? Doesn't IBM want their money? See the first RE: RE:If IBM's goal is to slowly kill the platform, I think that goal is being accomplished. What IBM should do is sell off the iSeries unit to a company that cares about the platform. Better yet, spin off the iSeries unit as an independent company and let those of us who want to use this platform as a competitive advantage for our companies do so. See the first RE: I've held these views for a few years, now. I'm happy to see an industry analyst come around to my view of what IBM is doing to this machine, but at the same time, I am unhappy about being correct.

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  • dan@willis-music.com
    replied
    Happy New Year (Sort Of)

    ** This thread discusses the article: Happy New Year (Sort Of) **
    Wow! Right on, I have been putting off moving to a new iSeries for the very reasons you have sited. IBM has a habit of treating their best customers the worst.

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  • jbosko@rwbaird.com
    replied
    Happy New Year (Sort Of)

    ** This thread discusses the article: Happy New Year (Sort Of) **
    IBM pricing has driven my firm to begin the move to all Intel based solutions. To bad, best computer in the world and because of price we are leaving it behind. Great article Bob

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Happy New Year (Sort Of)

    ** This thread discusses the article: Happy New Year (Sort Of) **
    IBM had and still has the same disease that Xerox and Polaroid had, and where are they today? OVER EDUCATED IDIOTS, people with NO COMMON SENSE and a Preponderance of arrogance, which is a showcase for ignorance.

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