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Status Not under consideration
Workspace IBM i
Categories Languages - RPG
Created by Guest
Created on Oct 9, 2020

Coding free format line should be possible from column 8 to end of line

If you can use fully free format (**free) then the free-form statements can appear between column 1 and the end of the line.

Otherwise, the source is column-limited, and a free-form statement is coded in columns 8-80.

I would like this limitation removed so the free-form statements can appear between column 8 and the end of the line.
Of course this must be enabled by specifying a new control keyword so backwards compatibility is kept.

Fixed form statements should of course still be coded between column 8-80.

Use Case:

Many times I have to code a statement in free format in multiple lines because there simply isn't enough characters.
Fully free format is not an option right now.

When changing the code you might move some of the code into the comment zone in column 81ff resulting in an error and then you have to move the code around. This can result in bugs and messy code. Not to mention the waste of time.

Making it possible to code free format statements from column 8 to the end of the line would really ease my day.

Idea priority Medium
  • Guest
    Jun 6, 2022

    I am not using **FREE because
    1. I have a utility that inserts the level of IF/ELSE logic into position 3-5.
    2. Many times I prefer the use of the simple CALL/PARM operations which still have some advantages over functions an CALLP.


    CALL 'PGM1'
    PARM number PRM_NUMBER


    CALLP number:'cust'

    CALLP is missing the name of the parameters next to the CALL itself.

  • Guest
    Dec 4, 2020

    Can you name the change management software? is there any reason why you don't ask the developer of your change management software to support **FREE?

  • Guest
    Nov 19, 2020

    What a pity that you declined this because then we are stuck with the column 8 to 80 limitation forever.
    Fully free format will not be an option here for many years due to the development and change management system we are using.

    I hope you will reconsider this decision.

  • Guest
    Oct 19, 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 RPG.

  • Guest
    Oct 12, 2020

    It can even be done without a control keyword... IBM can ignore everything after the semi-column.

  • Guest
    Oct 10, 2020

    This would be useful at our workplace because of how our change management system works. When we compile, it inserts a header at the top of the source, and annotates changed lines with a version number in columns 1-4. This prevents us from using **FREE, but a control spec (or maybe pre-compiler switch) offering coding past column 80 would allow us to work around this behaviour.