Free Form Definitions
One of the major new features of ILE RPG, introduced in 7.1, is free form definition specifications.
- Removes the column restrictions on definitions.
- Can be interspersed with standard, fixed form, definitions.
- /free and /end-free no longer required.
- IBM i 7.1 or higher.
- 7.1 PTF 5770WDS SI51094.
- If using SQLRPGLE, 7.1 PTF Group SF99701 level 26 or higher.
The following are the new free-form definition statements to take the place of the indicated fixed-format specifications.
CTL-OPT . . equates to H-specs DCL-F . . . equates to F-specs DCL-C . . . equates to D-spec constants DCL-S . . . equates to D-spec stand-alone fields DCL-DS . . . equates to D-spec data structures END-DS . . . to terminate most DCL-DS statements DCL-PI . . . equates to D-spec procedure interface definitions END-PI . . . to terminate procedure interface definitions DCL-PR . . . equates to D-spec procedure prototype definitions END-PR . . . to terminate procedure prototype definitions DCL-PROC . . equates to P-spec begin statements END-PROC . . equates to P-spec end statements
----+----1----+----2----+----3----+----4----+----5---- D* fixed-form declarations D string S 50A VARYING D date S D DATFMT(*MDY) D obj S O CLASS(*JAVA:'MyClass') D ptr S * PROCPTR // free-form declarations DCL-S string VARCHAR(50); DCL-S date DATE(*MDY); DCL-S obj OBJECT(*JAVA:'MyClass'); DCL-S ptr POINTER(*PROC); // constants DCL-C max_count 200; DCL-C deleted 'D';
Fully Free-Form coding
Another one of the new features of ILE RPG, introduced for 7.3 and as of 7.2 TR 3 and 7.1 TR 11, is a fully free-form coding format. The program source must start with **FREE and this removes all of the prior column restrictions for RPG source.
- Fixed-form specifications cannot be used in the main program source.
- Fixed-form copy/include files can still be used—the SQL precompiler, at least, automatically inserts **END-FREE and **FREE around them.
- Columns 6 and 7 no longer have special meaning for fixed-form specification characters, compiler directives, or comments.
- All free-form statements, compiler directives, and comments may start in column 1.
- All comments must start with a double forward slash (//), instead of an asterisk, and can be used practically anywhere/anytime.
- Column 80 is no longer the restricted right margin for statement content.
- The entire source line length may be used for statement content—no reserved comment area.
- Source line lengths greater than 100 characters are automatically supported.