I was surprised and amazed to see that RPG supports XML now, but perhaps I shouldn’t be.
At this point I will have to admit having used RPG more than 20 years ago but I believe it was RPG II (the article in the lastest issue of IBM Systems is about a new release of RPG IV). It was an interesting time because at the same time I was submitting RPG II and Mark IV (similar to RPG) programs to a remote mainframe to produce batch reports I was also programming a Sycor micro using TAL II (its assembly language) to capture and feed the data to the mainframe from cassette tapes… And no, the cassettes did not make what you would call musical noises when you put them in your home or car cassette player 😉
In those days we were not thinking about a language that would run across different hardware systems, and a hardware-neutral operating system was similarly not something that seemed to be in the cards. I learned RPG because that was how you got reports out of the mainframe, and I learned TAL II because that was how you programmed a Sycor to send data to the mainframe.
The news about RPG and XML seems like a significant milestone in the evolution of software. It is an indication of the growing adoption of XML and provides further evidence that existing programs don’t get replaced as much as they get extended, enhanced, or perhaps improved (if that isn’t too much of a leap in the characterization of what’s going on here).

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