A Guide to RDi on Mac

Jon Paris Susan Gantner

To do this we mapped a shortcut to the action “Toggle insert mode.” There is a shortcut mapped to this by default in RDi, but of course it uses the Insert key, which we don’t have. If you want to remap that action, go to Preferences and find the Keys page under the General category. Once there, in the “type filter text” box near the top, enter “Toggle insert” and you should find the default in the “Binding” column, which requires the Insert key. Now go down to the box near the bottom left of the page labeled “Binding:” and key the shortcut that you prefer. You don’t spell out the keys you want; rather, simply do the action by pressing the keys that should make up the shortcut. We chose Cmd + F3 because that’s what we had been using in the Windows environment. You may choose any shortcut you like as long as it doesn’t conflict with one used elsewhere.

Likewise native Mac keyboards do not typically contain either Home or End keys. Fortunately, RDi has shortcuts already defined by default that perform that function in the editor. So Mac users can use Fn + Left arrow and Fn + Right arrow to jump to the beginning or end of a statement, respectively. In addition, Fn + Cmd + Left arrow (or Right arrow) jumps to the top (or bottom) of the source member.


The primary limitation in this initial release that we were concerned about compared to the Windows version was the omission of a syntax checker for RPG and COBOL code. We were surprised to find that it has turned out to be much less of an issue than we expected. It does seem odd that the editor can obviously parse and understand RPG syntax or else it couldn’t color code the source, or populate the dynamic Outline View and Content Assist wouldn’t work. Since those capabilities are there, we’re still very hopeful that syntax checking will be there in the future. But, given that those other features work just fine, it has not been the show-stopper that we had feared.

The relatively new support for the Host Connect emulator from Remote Systems is also not available in the OS X version. Since this is a feature we rarely use, we weren’t very concerned about it. To help make up for that limitation, there is support for the ACS (Access Client Solutions) emulator. It’s accessed via an option in the context menu of the Objects subsystem to “Launch 5250 Emulator”. There is also a “Launch Run SQL Scripts” option in that same context menu. In addition, just as with the Windows version of RDi, “Launch Run SQL Scripts” appears in the source menu when editing an SQLRPGLE source member and any selected code is automatically pasted into the SQL Script. To use either of the ACS tools, you must also install Legacy Java 6. We were prompted to install this when we first launched the emulator.

There is also no program verifier in this version of RDi. We would like to have that, but it’s a feature we were using less and less frequently as system and network connection speeds become faster and more reliable. We also don’t have access to the older, static version of the Outline with RPG. But of course the newer dynamically updated Outline is there. Had that been omitted it likely have been a show-stopper for us.

There are other limitations that didn’t concern us much, but just in case they may interest you, you should take a look at the full list here. We will discuss some of these items later in this article as well.

Keyboard Shortcuts

Many RDi keyboard shortcuts are different in the Mac version. In a few cases, the actual shortcuts don’t seem to match what it says in the corresponding menu options. Since we use shortcuts a lot, it has taken us a while to figure them out, so we’ll list what we’ve found in hopes it will save some of you some time. We have not had a chance yet to update our “Favorite Keyboard Shortcuts for RSE/RDi” card to include the Mac shortcuts but we plan to do it and will be sure to post it on our blog when it’s available. In the meantime, you may want to take a look at the recently published RDi Keyboard Shortcuts page in the IBM Knowledge Center

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.

Like what you just read? To receive technical tips and articles directly in your inbox twice per month, sign up for the EXTRA e-newsletter here.

comments powered by Disqus



2019 Solutions Edition

A Comprehensive Online Buyer's Guide to Solutions, Services and Education.

New and Improved XML-INTO

Namespace support makes the opcode a viable option

Authenticating on the Web

The finer points of OpenRPGUI, Part 1

The Microphone is Open

Add your voice: Should IBM i include open-source RPG tools?

IBM Systems Magazine Subscribe Box Read Now Link Subscribe Now Link iPad App Google Play Store
IBMi News Sign Up Today! Past News Letters