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Status Not under consideration
Workspace IBM i
Categories Languages - RPG
Created by Guest
Created on Nov 19, 2019

Enhance %DEC / %INT / %FLOAT to recognize and accept negative values in a Zoned format

Currently, the %DEC and %INT BIFs do not recognize an ending character of "}"/"J"/.../"R" as representing a digit with a X'D' in the zone portion of the character. Thus, the character representation of a NEGATIVE number — as may be created by %EDITC(num:'X') — causes runtime error RNX0105 ("A character representation of a numeric value is in error.").

It would be quite helpful — and eliminate in code conversions laborious manual intervention to intercept negative values — if these BIFs would recognize these ten special non-numeric characters, when appearing in the last position of a character string, as valid digits, and set the result field as a negative number.

As this change could impact current functionality (for example, no longer "rejecting" [via runtime error] a value like "5N" when in fact it does represent invalid data), it might be best to implement this change via requirement for an explicit request that this should occur — such as a fourth parameter. Additional restrictions may also be appropriate (like not allowing a minus sign at the same time).

IMHO, it would also make the RPG language a bit "cleaner" with %EDITC('X') and %DEC being proper inverses of each other.

Use Case:

Assign a negative value to a numeric field; say numField1 PACKED(9:4)) = -525.25.
Assign %EDITC(numField1 : 'X') to a character field, say charField1 CHAR(12). charField1 becomes "00525250}bbb".
Try to "reconvert" the character string back to a number, say numField2=%DEC(charField1 : 9 : 4). Rather than setting numField2 to -525.25, RNX0105 occurs, presumably because the "}" is not considered as a valid numeric character.

Idea priority Medium
  • Guest
    Apr 24, 2020

    IBM does not intend to provide a solution to this request at this time, so it is being closed.

    This request does not align with the strategy for future investment in the ILE RPG compiler.

    %DEC and %EDITC are not intended to be complete inverses of each other. %DEC is intended to interpret a character string containing a fully-edited value with sign and decimal point. %EDITC with the 'X' edit code produces the equivalent of a zoned decimal value, but without the implied decimal position of a true zoned decimal value.

    We suggest writing a subprocedure to get the numeric value from a character field containing a zoned decimal value. Calling the following procedure with the value '1234N' returns -12345.

    dcl-proc getZonedVal export;
    dcl-pi *n zoned(63:0);
    parm varchar(63) const;
    dcl-ds zonedDs qualified;
    a char(63);
    z zoned(63) overlay(a);
    dcl-s zeros char(63) inz(*zeros);
    evalr zonedDs.a = zeros + %trim(parm);
    return zonedDs.z;

  • Guest
    Dec 10, 2019

    Instead of using %EDITC(num:'X') you dould use %EDITC(num:'P')

    giving you a leading minus character