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Improving Productivity When Using RSE

This article is the last in the current series of excerpts from the Partner400 RSE Quick Start Guide. The first part was published in the November edition of EXTRA and the second part was published in the December 2006 issue of IBM Systems Magazine. In this final part, we'll address a few of our favorite tips to improve productivity when using RSE.

Outline View

At the end of the second part, we gave you a sneak preview of the Outline view, which more than any other single feature won us over to RSE from the CODE editor that we had been using for many years.

By default, the Outline view appears to the right of the editor window (look for the window pane with "Outline" in the tab at the top.) When you open an RPGLE source member for the first time, the Outline is typically empty except for the message "Press Refresh to update view." To populate your Outline view, click on the Refresh icon, which looks like two yellow arrows forming a circle. You should now see expandable lists of files, fields, procedures and subroutines, etc., similar to Figure 1. Expand some of the lists to see the gems hidden here. The Fields list, for example, contains an alphabetical list of every field in the program along with its data type and size. You even get a cross reference to the lines of code where each field is referenced. Statement numbers with (M) at the end are lines where the value of the field is modified. The cross reference list is "live," so if you click on a statement number, your editor window will be positioned to that line. Clicking on the field name itself positions you to the line where it is defined. Now, that's handy!

If you make changes to your source member in the editor, refresh the outline from time to time to keep it synchronized with the Editor view. By the way, Outline view works beautifully for RPGLE and DDS source members. It doesn't work for CL, CLLE or RPG members and isn't as powerful for CBL or CBLLE source-member types.

Fast Views

You may remember from the earlier parts of the guide that double-clicking on the top of a view puts it into full-screen mode. This is particularly helpful for your Editor view so that you can see more code while editing. However, you can't see your other views when using a full-screen Editor view, which means that great Outline view we just learned about isn't readily available. Never fear - that's what fast views are all about.

Try this: From the normal RSE workbench view, right-click on the Outline view tab and select "Fast View" from the menu. The Outline view disappears from the workbench but is still available to you. Look at the bottom left margin of the workbench (underneath the Properties view) and you should see the icon for the Outline view. Click on the Outline icon and the Outline view will appear over the workbench. Click anywhere else in the workbench and the Outline shrinks back to its fast view position in the bottom margin.

Now go into full-screen view of your source member and click on the Fast View icon for the Outline. Voila! It appears on top of your source. That's more useful, but it would be even better if it didn't overlay so much of the critical parts of your source code.

Try this: Right-click on the Fast View Outline icon and select Dock On>Right. Now you can still see most of your RPG source code while using the Outline view.

Any view in the workbench can be made a fast view. You may want to experiment with other fast view options. All fast views must be docked in the same place (i.e., you can't have some that dock on the right and some on the bottom). An option from the right-click menu on the Fast View icon allows you to change the orientation. Some views, such as the Table view, work better in a horizontal orientation.

Jon Paris is a technical editor with IBM Systems Magazine and co-owner of Partner400.

Susan Gantner is a technical editor with IBM Systems Magazine and co-owner of Partner400.



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