Rexx Language

Rexx is a language invented by IBM. It was used on OS/2, among other IBMish operating systems. It is very much geared toward text processing. It first appeared in IBMs VM/SP3 Mainframe Operating System in 1984.

Stands for "Restructured Extended Executor"

It inherits some of its syntax (such as DO-END loops) from PliLanguage.

REXX is/was a wonderful language, extraordinarily easy to use and very powerful (superb parsing, and arbitrarily structured associative arrays). Its inventor MikeCowlishaw got made an IBM Fellow for its invention. I sorely miss it. --AlistairCockburn

Alistair, you don't have to miss it. Use regina or brexx which are both freely available.

You can purchase Object Rexx (ObjectRexxLanguage) from IBM for Windows and Linux (possibly others). It is free on Linux. You can also use NetRexxLanguage to write Java JVM compatible programs.

Note that REXX was designed to be an EmbeddedLanguage like PythonLanguage. So, you could use REXX as your macro language. Famous programs such as the XEDIT text editor on VM/CMS used REXX in this way.

Also, REXX was/is used as a replacement for the VM/CMS Exec2Language.

REXX (as AREXX) was the OS-standard inter-application scripting language of the AmigaComputer.

There is a website for all things Rexx: (Rexx Language Association)

Also, see IBM's Rexx Family site:

-- RonPerrella

I have a program, PalmGlobe?, on my HandSpring? that displays the globe from any angle and provides day/night shading. The documentation states it was written in a version of REXX. Evidently there's life in the old girl yet. -- GarryHamilton

I find myself in a Rexx-like mindset when programming in PythonLanguage. Both have free typing of variables and minimal symbol clutter (semicolons). That keeps both programs clean and easy to read. Not surprisingly, I find both lead me into the same errors: "I thought that was a number not a string" and "How did that value get in there". -- DaveEaton

There are 9 free Rexx interpreters for download. Six are "classic Rexx," two are object Rexx, and the final one is NetRexx?. All have their unique advantages, so it's nice to have a selection. Access any of them here -- -Bob

Rexx survives by way of Regina in The Hessling Editor, using it as the macro language similar to Kedit/XEdit -- One of my professors swore by it as an open source editor for this very reason. -- RobertQuigley?


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