Combining power with ease of use, the Rexx scripting language is enjoying a surge in popularity. Howard Fosdick introduces this free language and explores some of the basics you need to know before getting started. Elsewhere on that site, this chapter describes Python’s built-in operators as well as the precedence rules used in the evaluation of expressions.
Rexx: What You Need to Know
About The Author
Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker.
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2006-04-03 4:46 amdylansmrjones
It’s so much more powerful, yet so easy.
If you have ever tried Rexx, you’ll never go back to Perl or Python.
EDIT -> It’s the perfect tool for the newbie and the perfect tool for the knowledgeable. Most language developed for newbies are severely limited or have an extreme learning curve when going behind the essentials. Or they have a hopelessly complex syntax like Perl. Rexx is like the mothership
Edited 2006-04-03 04:50
2006-04-03 5:20 amtheGrump
>> If you have ever tried Rexx, you’ll never go back to Perl or Python
ho ho! how rich. when does rexx plan to support arrays? eval? lambdas? regexes? thousands of libraries for doing pretty much anything? python and perl and ruby need not lose sleep worrying about the resurgence of rexx, because there is no resurgence of rexx.
2006-04-03 1:04 pmdylansmrjones
You’ve never used Rexx right?
2006-04-03 1:15 pmsanctus
2006-04-03 1:17 pmdylansmrjones
Questions are rarely informative. Answers are.
How can you write an article about a programming language and not even include one line of sample code? And what’s up with the ad for the rexx book? $70 with 10% off? eek!
2006-04-03 1:33 pmdylansmrjones
Did you follow the link “Rexx: Power Through Simplicity” or did you think “weeh.. colored text… so nice to look at.. let’s scroll some more”?
EDIT: Or the link to the 120 sample REXX scripts for Windows…?
Edited 2006-04-03 13:33
2006-04-03 1:41 pmsequethin
I just scrolled I get it now. The link in the osnews article was a link to an informit article that referenced an article on onlamp that was about rexx. The onlamp article is great actually. I guess Mr. Fosdick wrote an article for informit to remind us about it.
2006-04-03 1:49 pmdylansmrjones
It does look like that. The article linked to on Informit is much more fun
I am not putting down Rexx, but I have to question why the 2nd poster had to build up Rexx by putting down Perl’s “hopelessly complex syntax”. BTW, Perl is freaking easy.
Every langauge fills a need, and once I learned this I got out of the “my language is better than your language” business. I use what I use bc I like it, and I am not going to impose its merits on you.
2006-04-03 1:52 pmdylansmrjones
I wasn’t putting down Perl, nor Python, merely pointing out to an ignorant that the strength of Rexx is it’s simplicity. Perl is not even close to be as easy as Rexx. The whole idea of Rexx is to be immensely powerful for the newbie as well as the experienced programmer.
EDIT: It’s clear the first poster didn’t even read the article because his “questions” were answered in the article.
Edited 2006-04-03 13:52
2006-04-03 5:11 pmtheGrump
>> Perl is not even close to be as easy as Rexx
but we already know how to use perl. and python. and ruby. we are not junior high students learning programming.
for any moderately intelligent professional programmer, there is absolutely no reason to look at a no-feature dinosaur like rexx.
and by the way, instead of just giving us empty phrases like “its easy!!!”, address the lack of features. no arrays??? eval??? lamda??? automatic repository integration?? these are trivial elements of modern languages.
remember your initial quote – rexx is “much more powerful than perl”. a laughable position that is impossible to support.
Edited 2006-04-03 17:15
2006-04-03 7:23 pmdylansmrjones
Oh it is. It does not lack such features, they are however differently implemented. Take a look at the documentation to one of the many Rexx-interpreters.
Perl is so much more a dinosaur than Rexx is. But of course for a linux-fanboy like you it cannot be different. “If it’s not born on *nixes it’s no good” … (and yes, I’ve been using linux for almost a decade, but I’m still not a convert – many things are done much better on other platforms).
EDIT: forgot a word
Edited 2006-04-03 19:26
2006-04-03 8:57 pmtheGrump
okay, please illustrate support for lambdas, regexes, programmatic repository support, etc.
please stop replying with unqualified op-eds. show me the code. don’t reply unless you have something concrete.
2006-04-03 9:04 pmdylansmrjones
Read it yourself. You haven’t RTF article.
2006-04-03 10:55 pmtheGrump
i read the article, it does not address my points and neither can you apparently. since you continue to refuse to address the bullet points i have laid out for rexx to be “much more powerful than perl”, i suggest you retract the statement.
2006-04-03 11:20 pmdylansmrjones
It does have arrays (well, sort of – it doesn’t fit entirely). It does however have a different name, “stem variables” (the equivalent in other languages would often be “associative arrays”).
For regexes go here: http://www.interlog.com/~ptjm/
I’d recommend you take a look in the REXX tutorial ( http://users.comlab.ox.ac.uk/ian.collier/Docs/rexx_info/whole.html or http://www.kilowattsoftware.com/tutorial/rexx/ ) for a closer look in general.
Did I forget something? If so, please reply on what I forgot to address.
2006-04-04 5:44 amtheGrump
>> Did I forget something?
lambda/eval (or just any capacity to self modify code while running)
programmatic integration with a code repository
bindings to major graphical libs
i will spare you a comparison of cpan with whatever the rexx world has to offer.
2006-04-04 1:17 pmdylansmrjones
Well, I think you can figure those out after a few minutes of googling.
Until then I call “linux-fanboy”.
Programmatic integration: Non-issue. It exists, but isn’t a language issue.
Bindings to major graphical libs: REXX has them, Perl is missing a lot here, among others. You would know that if you knew REXX.
But you don’t. You just want a flamewar, dizzing whatever YOU don’t recognize as *nix-only.
REXX can do what Perl can do, but without the complex insane structure. I know it’s hard to cope with for a person who wants to use this as a badge of the “ICanDoPerlSoIAmSoMuchBetterThanTheRestOfYou”-kind.
2006-04-04 10:00 amratatask
The article or some of the examples it points to does not
talk about lambda functions,closures, or regexpes. Mostly they look like a long, straight forward flow of control like old basic programs. (there are arrays though).
2006-04-04 1:19 pmdylansmrjones
You could, maybe, copy and paste them in a Google search field… Something like “REXX regexes” or “REXX lambda functions” and so on.
There might be something on the net about this.
You have heard of the net?
2006-04-03 2:58 pmDeadFishMan
BTW, Perl is freaking easy.
Whoa! Hold on… Perl, freaking easy?!?!?
I thought they buried REXX next to OS2.
Rexx is not just a scripring language like perl.
Many Amiga gui programs has a Rexx port for easy external control throught ARexx.
So you can edit the files as well as you can do it with “visual” interface.
Rexx is simple. I hate to learn syntax especially if it is obscure mess of symbols.
Uh, where is this “Rexx” resurgence???? What at all is compelling in Rexx compared to modern dynamic languages with rich library repositories (CPAN, gems, etc etc)????