How dearly I would like to edit my ABAP-code in my code editor that is ABAP development Tools (AdT) in Eclipse

I like AdT. It’s “new” (kind of), it’s nice, it has many features that help me. All the development efforts in ABAP go towards the Eclipse/AdT-IDE (that’ still true, right?).
I invested time into learning it, enabling me to make good use of this tool. (E.g. learning the shortcuts to steer it keyboard-only).

So: I like, AdT. I want to use it.
Unfortunately, very often, I can not. 🙁

An it is not because my backend is so old, oh no: that is a shiny SAP S/4HANA 1909 !

It is, because AdT won’t let me edit code!

I’ll explain with an example:

I have a report. It’s old, maybe was initially wirten 8 years ago (or longer), but it’s (still) good! Something like this:

It has been well maintained over the years, was even ported to S/4HANA (see the comment about 40-character MATNR?).

So as I say, it’s a good report. It has some includes, and those have may lines of code, and it’s good code, very fine!

But maybe, a few (only a few of the many, many good lines!), I’d like to change! Maybe remove a useless comment.
Or adapt to solve a new ATC-finding. Refactor the code a little, using those very nice features AdT provides me.

That surely isn’t to much to ask?!

..unfortunately, it is!

I haven’t been truly honest with the screenshot. It shows the truth, but not the full truth.
This is the full picture:

Shocking, isn’t it?

How can you not see it? Someone put an Enhancement-Point there (and in other parts of the program, but one would already be enough to foil my editing plans), making the report even better, following the rules SAP gave us to provide means that users down the line (customers, partners,”internal customers” within an organisation) can extend the functionality towards their need, in a good, clean (release-friendly, future-prove, investment-save ….) way.

You fool!

Your intentions where noble, no doubt, but they place such a burden on me, now that I want to maintain this fine code, make it just a little better, fix a tiny thing or two, rename some variable to give them more meaning. All those thing that where complicated in SE80, but are now so easy in AdT (renaming, extract method only to name two), that’s what I’d like to do.

But I can’t. SAP won’t let me. See what happens, when I hit the spacebar:

No editing for you, my friend, not in AdT! Not even a single character, not even a ‘space’.
You can edit it alright, just not here, just not so easy.
Here’s a hammer and chisel, you go ahead and do this edit the hard way, like we had to do it when we where your age!

So what should I do now?!


PS: I think we (the ABAP users using AdT) often called for “(Editing) Enhancements in Eclipse/AdT!”.
That is NOT what I ask for. I don’t care for the enhancements, I just want to be able to edit my Code. In AdT.

I hope, with this blog I described (maybe for the first time?) that problem:

A single “ENHANCEMENT-POINT” anywhere(!) in a report makes the whole report (including all it’s includes) unchangeable in AdT. The same is true für global Classes by the way!
And that’s really, really sad. I wish that could be changed. Any chance for that Thomas Fiedler ?

I’m on Eclipse Version: 2019-12 (4.14.0) and AdT 3.8.4,
my backend is the mentioned S/4HANA 1909 (initial shipment stack, S4CORE 104 0000; SAP_BASIS 754 0000).

If you would tell me that a simple upgrade of eclipse or AdT would finally solve that problem (and maybe provide a screenshot?), that would make me very happy! (I can’t upgrade where I am now, but would then do so as soon as possible.)