VA RPG Prototype Can Output Java – Sort of

Earlier this year, IBM VisualAge RPG developers were clamoring for the ability to code in RPG and output in Java [see MIDRANGE Systems, June 15].

After an internal debate on whether a procedural language like RPG could be translated into an object-oriented language like Java, then months of lab research, IBM has developed a prototype of VisualAge RPG that converts RPG into procedural – rather than pure object-oriented – Java.

“When the user types in RPG code, it generates Java,” says George Farr, VA RPG and ILE RPG technical development manager. “But RPG is not OO (object-oriented), so what it will produce is only an O – a single object – as opposed to OO. It runs Java as a single class, single object."

IBM created a “product preview” or prototype of the Java- generating VA RPG and distributed it for evaluation to a select group of programmers at this fall’s Common show in Anaheim, Calif. Based on how useful VA RPG programmers find it, IBM will make a decision by early next year on including the procedural Java generator in VA RPG, Farr says.

“Are you going to become a Java shop by using this? No. But you look at the Java code and see what you’re doing to it when you code something in RPG. It’ll be more educational than anything else and help you get into developing for the Internet faster. It’s a bridge.”