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Welcome to TN5250j


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Introduction

The tn5250j is a 5250 terminal emulator for the AS/400 written in Java. I started it because I could not find a terminal emulator for Linux with features like continued edit fields, gui windows, cursor progression fields etc....

From there it has seemed to go off in all sorts of directions. Now there are 3 modes.

  • A basic mode that most emulators I have found are.
  • Enhanced mode that implements the features that I wanted like masked edit fields and those listed above.
  • The third is a gui mode that turns the bland green-screen into a windows gui (See screen shots).

Why tn5250j

Linux and Open Source Rules !!!!! No; really I digress. To give something back to all those hackers and code churners that work so hard to provide the Linux and Open Source communities with quality work and software. Also; hopefully provide the AS400 with another source besides MS for developers. The AS400 is a great machine but it needs more linux users and developers. Personal opinion coming: I do not care what a developer or user uses nor which desktop/gui they use to get their work done as long as it gets done. If it is MS, Linux, Mac, Solaris then use it as long as they feel comfortable using it and the job gets done but I do believe in having the ability to choose. I would not trade my linux with KDE for anything right now. It is a beautiful piece of work. If something comes along better I will try it but for now I am satisfied. I just could not use it for AS400 development. Until now that is!!!

While I was at it I also wanted it to work on different operating systems, thus Java giving the "j" at the end (yes there are others but I do not have any experience with them). I started changing the TN5250 for linux source but after thinking about it I thought "Well hell if I am going to start debugging and enhancing this one why not try and build my own. Also; while I was at it, some of the ideas could be made available for my Windows handicapped developers here as well." Besides my C skills are a little rusty by a few years and yes it would not take long to get them back (I think it is like riding a bicycle), but I could not find any emulators in java that I liked (only one that I know of). I have done a lot of work in Java lately so decided to try my hand at that. It is slower but I get to add functionality at my whim.

In my humble opinion, one of the things holding Linux back in AS400 departments is that there are no emulators with some of these enhanced functions available.

Note
If there are emulators for Linux with these features at a reasonable price please let me know and I will change my opinion here. I am not an expert on emulators nor the 5250 data stream so I could be wrong. I am doing this for the learning experience not to replace or keep up with others!!!

If along the way someone else likes this project and finds it useful then I think it is great. We use a lot of the enhanced functions (like cursor progression, continued edit fields ...) here and the manager has actually had to change emulators of users so that they could take advantage of these features. The one that was changed out was a well known, widely used emulator.

Lets see where it goes from here.

TN5250 for linux.

They also have a windows version.