Linked by Eugenia Loli on Sun 16th Apr 2006 19:55 UTC
General Development Rexx is a simple "power" language. Wait, isn't that a contradiction in terms? Not according to Howard Fosdick. While Rexx is easy to learn and simple to use, it nonetheless provides some strong capabilities that are making it a popular programming language.
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Sadly, I don't see the point of Rexx
by walterbyrd on Mon 17th Apr 2006 12:28 UTC
walterbyrd
Member since:
2005-12-31

I think Rexx was supposed to work on IBM mainframes, running MVS. Maybe it has a place there.

But why use Rexx on any Unix, Linux, MacOS-X, or Windows, platforms? I don't see where Rexx does web programming, and even if it did, I don't see Rexx offered by most web-hosters. Rexx is not all that popular, no big community supporting Rexx. No extensive libraries of pre-written routines.

So why use Rexx instead of, say, Python? Python is powerful and simple, and readable. Python works well for web developement. There is a large Python community. I can get very inexpensive python web hosting.

It's sad to see all the work that went into Rexx go to waste. But, I don't see a place for Rexx.

Maybe I'm missing something?

Reply Score: 2

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Maybe I'm missing something?

Yes, you are.

Reason for using it:

Extremely simple, yet very powerful. Extensible, so it can have any kind of functionality, you want. Some have claimed that REXX doesn't support arrays or regexp, but it does. The latter one usually requires some extensions, but REXX can do anything the other scriptlanguages can. The difference is that a newbie can code in it almost immediately, and this without leaving the power user behind.

Languages like Perl and Python are not that easy to learn, having several quirks, but they are powerful.

REXX doesn't have these quirks, but are still powerful.

REXX is used a lot on OS/2, and on the Amiga, and if you take a look around you'll see that it has been ported to many architectures and systems, including Syllable OS.

You brought up Python. Python suffers from the same problems as BASIC and Pascal and many other "easy-to-use" languages. They are easy if you just want to learn to do a few things, but if you want to go outside the elementary things, the learning curve climbs excessively.

This does not happen with REXX.

REXX has a place anywhere, but no doubt it's ease of use is making it look inferior in the eyes of many *nix-geeks who doesn't want newbies to be capable of what they are capable at.

The mere fact that REXX has non-*nix roots is enough to make *nix-people dislike it ;)

I saw that some days ago, when the last article on REXX was posted.

Reply Parent Score: 2

rcsteiner Member since:
2005-07-12

Rexx is also part of IBM's OS/2 releases and part of IBM's latest PC-DOS release, and it's a very useful language on those platforms.

I'm not sure that I'd choose Rexx over Python even under OS/2, though, at least in those areas where Python has strengths. I use Perl under OS/2 as well from time to time. Why? It does some things better than Rexx. The reverse is also true, though.

For Linux or Unix or even Windows use, people should be free to use whatever languages pop their bobbers. :-)

Reply Parent Score: 1