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Rexx Programmer's Reference by Howard Fosdick

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Introduction

Of all the free scripting languages, why should you learn Rexx? Rexx is unique in that it combines power with ease of use. Long the dominant scripting language on mainframes, it is definitely a "power" language, yet it is also so easy to use that its popularity has expanded to every conceivable platform. Today the vast majority of Rexx developers use the language on Windows, Linux, Unix, and dozens of other systems ... and, there are nine free and open source Rexx interpreters available.

Here's the Rexx story in a nutshell:

  • Rexx runs on every platform under nearly every operating system.

    So, your skills apply anywhere ... and your code runs everywhere.

  • Rexx enjoys a strong international standard that applies to every Rexx interpreter ... from handhelds to PCs to servers to mainframes.

  • Rexx is as easy as BASIC, yet about as powerful as Perl.

  • Rexx's large user community means:

    • Many free interpreters optimized for different needs and environments

    • A vast array of free interfaces and tools

    • Good support

  • Rexx comes in object-oriented versions as well as a version that is Java-compatible. (and even generates Java code!)

You may be wondering why ease of use is so important in a programming language—especially if you are a high-end developer. First, understand that a truly "easy" language is easy to use, learn, remember, maintain, and code. The benefits to beginners are obvious. With Rexx, you can start coding almost immediately. There are no syntax tricks or language details to memorize ...

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