RPF is a software product, which runs on a S/370, S/390 and z/Series mainframes.
It is available in TSO under the operating systems MVS, MVS/XA, MVS/ESA, OS/390 and
z/OS. RPF is intended to be used by experienced people, who have a good knowledge
of IBM mainframes and mainframe operating systems. RPF is for use with 24-bit and
31-bit MVS operating systems (MVS 3.7 and above). RPF/E is for use with 31-bit operating
systems (MVS/XA and above). RPF is written in S/370 assembler. RPF/E is written in
Roots of RPF
RPF was developed because in the 1980's we did not have a "state of the art" editor
in MVS. IBM has a beautiful editor in TSO called ISPF. My employer did not choose
to pay for ISPF because the standard editor was Roscoe. ISPF was too expensive and
TSO was not used very much in those days.
When I started to work at this employer I had a TSO background for many years. So
I felt that I needed a fullscreen editor in TSO and MVS. That was the reason to develop
an editor by myself. I wrote the fullscreen editor (RPF) in the evening hours on
my employer's computer. My employer permitted me to use the computer for this project.
After months of development and programming, the first prototype of RPF was available
for testing. Many collegues tested RPF and reported bugs and suggestions to me. Finally
RPF became available for production. For many years we worked with RPF continued
to improve it in subsequent releases. In 1984 MVS and TSO became so common that my
employer decides to pay for IBM's ISPF product. Until the 1990's we used both RPF
and ISPF. After a few years ISPF had replaced RPF and RPF was not used anymore. At
that time I decided to stop the development of RPF.
In the famous year 2000, the S/370 and S/390 emulator Hercules became available.
With Hercules you are able to run MVS and its successors on a PC platform. The first
version of Hercules ran only in Linux. Later, the Windows version became available.
Suddenly I and many other "Herculeans" had the availability of a mainframe on our
own PC's. IBM decided to make MVS 3.8J available for common use, so you don't need
to pay license fees anymore for the base MVS. However ISPF was not available for
public domain use, because ISPF is still used and is a copyrighted product. MVS/TSO
without a full-screen editor is not a very good option, so I decided to make RPF
available to Hercules users running MVS on their personal computers. Desiring to
make a full-screen editor available for myself and these users, I restarted development
Functions of RPF
RPF consists of two versions, RPF and RPF/E. RPF runs on all operating systems listed
above. Because MVS/XA, MVS/ESA, OS/390 and z/OS are not public domain operating systems,
but expensive OS'es, I won't mention RPF/E anymore on these pages. RPF is started
in TSO as a command processor. After logon to TSO, the command "RPF" is sufficient
to have all the functions of RPF available to you. The functions of RPF are:
Edit of card-image records (record length 80 bytes), like parameter decks and source-code
of programs like PL/1, Cobol, Fortran and last but not least Assembler.
Browse/View files and members of Partitioned Datasets (PDS) under MVS.
Compile (assemble) of Assembler source code and to link-edit the code to executable
Creation (allocation) of MVS data sets and Delete of MVS data sets.
List the Volume Table Of Contents (VTOC) of DASD volumes. Also you can browse, edit,
delete, uncatalog, catalog and compress (PDS only) datasets in a "dataset selection
Execute TSO commands.
Edit, Browse of Librarian modules. Librarian is a product of Computer Associates.
Librarian is not a part of RPF. Only the free-to-distribute FAIR routines of Librarian
Move and Copy of PDS members.
Installation of RPF
RPF is distributed on an AWS format tape. AWS is an Hercules emulated tape, that
can be run on a Hercules emulated system. The installation JCL can be downloaded
here. The zip file containing the AWS tape of RPF is here available for download.
You can also download the RPF User´s Guide