Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Happy birthday RPG IV

This year contains a few significant anniversaries for RPG.

Today RPG IV has come of age, celebrating its 21st birthday. The first version of RPG IV came as part of OS400 V3R1, which was released on November 25 1994. Even though the code was still constrained by columns, the new Definition specifications (D-specs) was introduced, and I could now use variable names that were up to ten characters long. It also made it possible to use Date, Time, and Timestamp data types along with operations codes to be able to easily perform math with them. And I no longer had to use indicators for reads, chains, etc.

In the intervening years RPG has continued to evolve adding a multitude goodies which brings us to this two more of this year's anniversaries.

May 25 marked the 14th birthday of the first step towards free format RPG with the freeing of the Calculation specifications (C-specs) as part of release V5R1.

This month is also the second anniversary of the release of IBM i 7.1 TR7, which saw the introduction of, what I call, all free RPG.

These anniversaries show that IBM regards RPG as part of their future plans, and keeping up with the new forms of the language should be part of your future plans too.

I will be raising a glass of my favorite beverage, later today, to honor RPG IV's birthday. I hope you will join me.

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