Before learning the Rexx language, you need to consider the larger picture. What are scripting languages? When and why are they used? What are Rexx's unique strengths as a scripting language, and what kinds of programming problems does it address? Are there any situations where Rexx would not be the best language choice?
This chapter places Rexx within the larger context of programming technologies. The goal is to give you the background you need to understand how you can use Rexx to solve the programming problems you face.
Following this background, the chapter shows you how to download and install the most popular free Rexx interpreter on your Windows, Linux, or Unix computer. Called Regina, this open-source interpreter provides a basis for your experiments with Rexx as you progress in the language tutorial of subsequent chapters. Note that you can use any standard Rexx interpreter to learn Rexx. So, if you have some other Rexx interpreter available, you are welcome to use it. We show how to download and install Regina for readers who do not already have a Rexx interpreter installed, or for those who would like to install an open-source Rexx on their PC.
Rexx is a scripting language. What's that? While most developers would claim to "know one when they see it," a precise definition is elusive. Scripting is not a crisply defined discipline but rather a directional trend in software development. Scripting languages ...