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Why Free Form?

Free Form is a significant improvement to the RPG language with many productivity advantages

The free-form coding style has been available for RPG IV since IBM released V5R1 in the spring of 2001. Since that time, Linoma has used the free-form syntax extensively for in-house development. Based on positive feedback from our developers and well-known experts in the RPG community, we are highly recommending the RPG free-form syntax to our customers.

We believe that the free-form syntax is a big improvement to the RPG language and has many productivity advantages. Developers are finally no longer bound by the fixed columns of traditional RPG calculations. Now you can simply enter your RPG logic in a natural left-to-right fashion, similar to the coding style in other modern languages (i.e. Java and Visual Basic).

While the free-form syntax only is allowed in the area where C specifications are normally entered, it is definitely a huge step in the right direction.

To give you a better understanding of why we are recommending the free-form RPG style, we have compiled a list of benefits we believe it offers over traditional fixed-format syntax:

  1. Nested logic can be indented
  2. Source code can be entered faster
  3. More room to enter long expressions
  4. Right-hand comments can immediately follow the logic
  5. Free-form will cohabitate with fixed format specs
  6. Growing number of source examples only in free-form
  7. IBM is focusing its resources on free-form RPG
  8. Easier to learn for newcomers
  9. Enhances your career

To download a .PDF with detailed explanations of the benefits of free-form RPG, perform a right-click here.