Saturday, September 29, 2012

Sound and Fury


On May 16, 2012 Mel Beckman wrote a piece in iProDeveloper called "Is RPG Dead?" where he argued that it was. Readers of this blog will recall that it caused a huge firestorm within our community to the point that many were calling for Mel's head on a platter.

I was as shocked as the next RPG programmer that the language was dead, but all of the vociferous reactions left me cold. What was needed, I thought, were cooler heads and reasoned rebuttal; During this period a line from Macbeth, "full of sound and fury, signifying nothing", kept running through my head. One day a little poem came forth. I had originally posted it on Facebook on June 1st and now that the hub-bub has died down I thought I'd post it here:

There is much sound and fury in this tale whose hour upon the stage was spawned by Mel and the walking shadow RPG sits quietly in the mezzanine contemplating the maelstrom of which she is the subject. The poor players on the stage will strut and fret and expel their rage and in the end we all know that they will be heard no more, ultimately signifying nothing.

(Most of phrasing came from Macbeth's long winded response to the news, near the end of the play, that his wife was dead.)

Update 10/6/12

Once all of the initial shouting died down there were some very good posts written that rebutted Mel's assertions. I'd like to mention three of them here:

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Book of SBMJOB, Chapter on CMD

Read it here.

Years ago when I was a novice studying the liturgy of the 38 System, I started writing an early version of the book of SBMJOBALT simply because it annoyed me that I couldn't prompt its Request Data (RQSDTA) chapter. Apparently, the development angels of our lord Ib'm found this frustrating too, because when the new testament of the 400 was released, the book of the SBMJOB had a new chapter named CMD that allowed prompting. That wasn't all, of course. Our most holy lord Ib'm blessed us all with two other wonderful verses for this chapter:

  1. If a CL program submits a CALL command, the program it calls will appear on the Display Program References (DSPPGMREF) output for the submitting program.
  2. On the PARM parameter of those CALL commands, the CMD parameter can also handle data in CL variables so that you don't have to build a command string beforehand.


Of course, every far-reaching testament has some annoying errors of omission. At the following link I describe two of them and my simple solutions for both: Get the SBMJOB Command's CMD Parameter to Cooperate