With all due respect to the late Walt Kelly, this statement is possibly more
true of the AS/400 community than of the Cold War antagonists about which it was
originally written. We in the midrange community tend to be our own worst
enemies, to wit:

  1. IBM — Continues its lack of advertising, which is only overshadowed by
    its inept attempts at the same on those rare occasions when it actually
    DOES
    advertise. One can only assume that someone in the AS/400
    advertising camp, which also drove OS/2 Warp into the ground, has compromising
    pictures of Lou Gerstner which allow it to continue this travesty of a
    marketing campaign ad infinitum until SOMEONE actually purchases a
    machine based upon it. The latter is not going to happen, but if at first (or
    second, or third, or fourth) you don’t succeed…

    And somebody please tell me why CA/Express requires that it be installed on
    the host machine when Rumba and NetSoft require no such host installation for
    full TCP/IP connectivity.

  2. IBM’s Software Vendors — Those that haven’t tanked due to their deadly
    embrace of UNIX compatibility continue to write software steeped in the
    RPG/400 (OPM) model. ILE is used only when desired results cannot be achieved
    via OPM, thus RPG programmers have no good examples by which to learn the new
    methodology. JAVA? Ha! If vendors won’t use ILE, how do you expect them to use
    JAVA?
  3. The “Trades” — “Midrange Systems”, “News/400”, take your pick. These
    publications, while occasionally touting PC-based solutions, get their bread
    and butter from AS/400 COBOL or RPG programmers. They push the latest IBM
    solution, even when it’s inferior to third party products, rarely suggest
    third party products even when IBM has no equivalent, and mainly repackage
    what IBM announces. They also rarely criticize IBM itself. “Preaching to the
    converted” has become “Preaching ONLY to the converted.” All semblance
    of impartiality is gone.
  4. AS/400 Developers in General — Despite their now long existence, we
    rarely utilize new techniques such as SQL, ILE, Database Triggers (which could
    use some more definitive buffer calculations, BTW), or referential
    constraints. Our own insistence on using “what we know” has certainly been
    instrumental in the decline of the AS/400.

On the other hand, who can blame us? We all learned “C” only to never use it
again, and to my knowledge none of us is yet “flipping burgers” for not learning
JAVA.

About Dean Asmussen:
Dean Asmussen was a frequent contributor to midrange.com mailing lists and the moderator of the BPCS-L list. Dean passed away in the spring of 2003.