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Three Top FAQs for RSE

Answers on outline view, split screens and change date


A couple of years ago, our most frequent requests for on-site training topics were related to advanced RPG, ILE and/or SQL topics and we’d encourage companies to include some Remote System Explorer (RSE) training as well. These days, we’re much more likely to get a request for RSE training (and we encourage adding some RPG or PHP topics to the training session). It was slow getting there, but the rapidly growing trend is for RPGers to say goodbye to our old friend SEU and move up to the modern way to edit source code.

We’re using the generic term RSE to refer to the Eclipse-based RPG/COBOL/CL/DDS oriented IDEs from Rational. Rational has a penchant for changing the packaging and naming of the tools from time to time and RSE has been part of WDSC, RDi and RD Power (aka RDP or RDPi). These FAQs apply to all versions of RSE, past and present.

New RSE users ask many varied questions but we’ve chosen three from those we’ve heard most recently. We’ll cover others of the many more in future articles. Feel free to send us your questions to add to the list!

Who Stole my Outline View (and How do I Get it Back?)

RSE’s Outline View has become an essential tool for us when navigating through code. We’ve yet to teach a beginners class on RSE where someone doesn’t lose their Outline View. And we hear from our readers—usually after we’ve written about how useful it is—that they don’t have an Outline View. These people are usually convinced that they didn’t do anything to make it go away, but we suspect the culprit was just an accidental click of the X on the Outline tab.

Never fear—getting it back is very easy, no matter how you managed to lose it. Under the Window menu, choose Show View... You won’t see Outline on the next level of menu, so choose Other… and then key Outline in the search box at the top of the Show View dialog. Click on Outline in the resulting filtered view, then OK and voila! It’s back. (Shortcut—Alt+Shift+Q, then O.)

You may then want to make it a Fast View (especially popular among WDSC users, so that they have access to it when in full-screen edit. RDi and RD Power users have automatic Fast Views so it’s less important there.). To make it a Fast View, right-click at the top of the view and select Fast View. If you decide you don’t want it as a Fast View later, deselect the Fast View attribute. Don’t click the X on the tab. That’s how you lost it in the first place!

How Do I Split my Editor Screen? And How Do I Copy Code From One Member to Another?

There are two forms of split-screen editing:

  • With different parts of the same member on both sides of the split
  • With different source members

Let’s take the easiest to explain first—the same member on both sides. This is handy for having D specs on one side and logic on the other or mainline logic on one side and subroutines or subprocedures on the other.

Anywhere in the editor, right-click, choose View, then Open New View. You’ll see the shortcut is Ctrl+2. Note that it splits vertically by default. We prefer this, but if you want a horizontal SEU-style split, there’s an option for that in the same View menu. To close the split, Ctrl+0 (zero, not the letter O) or the Close View option from the right-click menu when in the second (new) side of the split.

The second type of split is simple, but perhaps not as obvious. To split the editor screen, you’ll use a click-and-drag action on the tab of the member you want to see in split screen. Drag it either right or left (for a vertical split) or to the bottom (for a horizontal split). While you’re dragging, the cursor will take on the appearance of a stack of file folders. Drop it when the file folder changes to a black arrow and a split line appears in the editor, which will happen at the edge of the editor view. When you see the arrow, drop the tab and the editor window will split. Simply reverse the process and drag the tab back to the others and drop it to go back to a non-split view.

For those of you using RSE at version 7.5 or later (RDi or RD Power), that’s all you need to know. For those of you using the WDSC flavor, you’ll need to know how to get the split editor screen to stay split when you double-click for full-screen editing.

To do that, the best approach is to create your own special perspective for that purpose. For every view in your current perspective except your Editor, either close it (click the X in the tab) or make it a Fast View (via the context menu). When you’re finished, you should have nothing showing in the perspective except the Editor and perhaps a few Fast Views in the margin. Now use the Save Perspective as… from the Window pull-down menu and give it a name such as “Split Screen.” Now when you want to do your split-screen editing of two (or more) members, simply open the Split Screen perspective. We’ve created a short video clip to show how this is done.

Now for the second part of the question: How do I copy code from one side of the split to another? The answer is to use the Windows clipboard via Copy (or Cut) and Paste on a selected block of code, often using the standard Windows shortcuts, Ctrl+C (or Ctrl+X) and Ctrl+V. Alternatively, if you’re using RDi or RD Power, you can also use drag and drop of a selected block of code to Move it. Hold down the Ctrl key while dragging to make it a Copy rather than a Move. Tip: Be careful to select entire lines of code and to paste them beginning in column 1 to keep the columns lined up. Alt-L at the beginning and end of the block may help.

Of course, both these methods also work for copying code within a source member, so why point it out? Because another common way to copying code from one place to another inside a source member is to use the SEU-style CC line commands. But that method doesn’t work for copying code across a split screen in RSE. So get familiar with using various methods to select blocks of code and you’ll be busily cloning code like before—not necessarily a habit we condone, but one that’s ingrained into many an RPGer’s way of life!


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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