It’s official. Nazmin and I have a publishing agreement with MC Press to write a book on the RSE. We sent in two chapters (Getting Started and the Debugger) back in October and they liked them so they gave us the green light to go full steam ahead. We are scheduled to deliver the first manuscript to MC Press in 1Q 2008 and the book should be out around 4 months after that.
The book will be dedicated entirely to the RSE, integrated iSeries debugger and iSeries projects. The goal is to provide detailed descriptions of the features, how they were intended to be used, how this differs from how they are actually being used, customizations, how to map how things are done in SEU / PDM to the RSE, lots of tips, techniques and screenshots. And of course, some of the deep technical information that the RSE power users out there have been waiting for :)
Nazmin is currently working on the editor chapter and I’m working on the “Accessing libraries, object, and members” chapter. My chapter will basically cover the Remote Systems view (connections, managing LIBL, filters, filter pools, iSeries table view, running commands).
The problem so far has been too much writing. All the chapters are blowing their original size estimates. It seems there’s lots to write about once you dig into it.
I’m planning to do a lot more blogging here while writing the book, to share some tips, thoughts, updates on the progress, and to get feedback. In fact this has been the impetus behind quite a few of my recent postings. I would be doing some writing and want to share it immediately.
We would love any feedback, suggestions or comments you have for the book. Feel free to post a comment here or send us an email.
I used to say the only reasons for using iSeries projects was:
- Disconnected development
- More structured development (i.e. organizing applications into projects which ideally are finer grained than the large libraries typically used today)
- Change management (being able to store your RPG, COBOL, CL and DDS in the same repository as your Java and Web pages)
However, I have recently been surprised by the uptake of iSeries projects for different reasons. One person on the midrange.com WDSC mailing list was being forced to keep their html files used with CGIDEV2 in a source physical file member on the System i. This makes it very difficult to use a graphical editor like the Page Designer in WDSC because the graphical HTML editors can’t handle the sequence number and timestamp fields. In WDSC 7.0 we added a feature that can have iSeries projects automatically strip off the sequence numbers and timestamp field from each line when the member is downloaded. Using this feature the user was able to use iSeries projects and Page Designer to edit their HTML source members.
Others use iSeries projects to edit their RPG, COBOL, CL or DDS source members solely for the ability to have the workspace track the changes. As you save changes to a local workspace file, the workspace support tracks the changes as a local history. You can then right click on the member at any time and select Compare With > Local History to see each saved change and compare your current edition to any of the saved changes. This capability is not available when editing from the RSE.
This can even work if nobody else on your team is using iSeries projects. Before you make changes to your member, right click on it in the RSE and select “Make Available Offline” (nevermind the fact that you are not working offline). Then from iSeries projects, make your changes to the member. When you are done, right click on the member in iSeries projects and select Remote Actions > Push Selected.
There are a couple things to consider here. When you edit members with the RSE they are locked on the System i just like when you edit them with SEU. So nobody can makes changes to the member while you are editing it. With iSeries projects the member is not locked. So when you go to push your changes you might get a warning that the member has been modified while you were changing it. How likely this will happen and steps you could take to reduce / eliminate this will vary depending on how your shop has it’s development environment setup.
Of course, implementing a change management system would solve the locking problem and give you the ability to track changes :)
A list of Windows XP keyboard shortcuts from Microsoft: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/301583 most of which will work in WDSC.
I picked up a new one today: Shift + F10 to bring up the pop-up menu. Lately I’ve been using the keyboard almost exclusively to navigate tree views (Remote Systems views, Project Explorer) but always had to go back to the mouse when I wanted to run an action. Now I can do that with the keyboard too :)