When I left my last contract, I had an idea for software that was — to use an expression — 'half-baked'. It was an idea for a problem reporting-responding system for your local friendly tools maven — someone like me. Someone, perhaps, like you. I thought there was a need for a vehicle for programmers — the folks who do the real work of producing software that generates the reports and files that management uses on a day-to-day basis to run the companies that produce the wealth that pays our salaries — to log that some particular tool exhibits unusual behavior or to suggest that some tool needs additional function.
The problem is that to develop mainframe software, one really needs a mainframe, and when I say 'mainframe', what I really mean is an 'IBM-ish operating system'.
There aren't too very many of those around, and what few there are are generally devoted to revenue-producing activity, as opposed to blue-sky and pie-in-the-sky ventures... like problem-reporting systems.
It's not easy to find such things — IBM-ish mainframes — but it's not impossible, either, and I managed to find one that didn't require me to pay $50/hr of computing time.
As a result, I've managed to get that problem reporting-responding system pulled together into a form that seems to me ready for some real-world testing. So...
I have put 'FIXTOOL' out on my alternate source code page, http://frankclarke.dx.am/REXX/listindx.html, and now invite all and sundry to steal a copy and run it through its paces, reporting any errors back to me at my main email address. You will also need to snag copies of several other routines that are needed in one way or another, and FIXTOOL also requires that SMTPNOTE (an IBM-originated routine) be active on your site.
- Routine DFLTTLIB should be downloaded and adjusted to fit your local environment. It designates the local default ISPTLIB dataset that will house all the ISPF tables used by my software. Every user of FIXTOOL must be able to WRITE to its table.
- Routine ICEUSER should be downloaded and customized to identify the 'special' users who are expected to manage the tools.
- Before running FIXTOOL, you must run TBLMSTR. TBLMSTR will create an AA-form table (AAMSTR) with a single entry describing itself, and write that table onto the default ISPTLIB.
- You, the maintainer, must add a row onto AAMSTR for the IT-type table so that TBLGEN will know how to build it when ordered. The easiest way to do this is to invoke FIXTOOL with the single parameter 'LOADQ'. This only has to be done ONCE. Subsequent invocations of FIXTOOL need not (should not) use LOADQ.
So, here is the component list of all the software that must be in place in order to run FIXTOOL:
Several of these routines reference SYSUMON, a usage logging routine that uses RXVSAM to update a KSDS where tool-usage statistics are kept. You can either disable it or build the appropriate KSDS and let it count. Up to you.
If you decide to fix any problems you find rather than have me fix them, I would still appreciate hearing from you what those problems were and how you addressed them.