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Rexx Programmer's Reference

ISBN: 978-0-7645-7996-7
720 pages
March 2005
Rexx Programmer


  • Originally developed for mainframes but highly portable across platforms-from servers to desktops to handhelds-Rexx is an easy yet powerful scripting language that's widely used for rapid application development.
  • Covers Rexx interpreters for specialized functions-object-oriented, mainframe, and handheld.
  • There are 8 different free Rexx interpreters optimized for different platforms and uses. This book shows how to use them all.
  • Shows how to script for GUIs, databases, web servers, XML, and other interfaces.
  • Details how to make the best use of Rexx tools and interfaces, with examples for both Linux and Windows.
  • Includes a tutorial with lots of examples to help people get up and running.
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Table of Contents




Part I.

Chapter 1: Introduction to Scripting and Rexx.

Chapter 2: Language Basics.

Chapter 3: Control Structures.

Chapter 4: Arrays.

Chapter 5: Input and Output.

Chapter 6: String Manipulation.

Chapter 7: Numbers, Calculations, and Conversions.

Chapter 8: Subroutines, Functions, and Modularity.

Chapter 9: Debugging and the Trace Facility.

Chapter 10: Errors and Condition Trapping.

Chapter 11: The External Data Queue, or “Stack”.

Chapter 12: Rexx with Style.

Chapter 13: Writing Portable Rexx.

Chapter 14: Issuing System Commands.

Chapter 15: Interfacing to Relational Databases.

Chapter 16: Graphical User Interfaces.

Chapter 17: Web Programming with CGI and Apache.

Chapter 18: XML and Other Interfaces.

Part II.

Chapter 19: Evolution and Implementations.

Chapter 20: Regina.

Chapter 21: Rexx/imc.

Chapter 22: Brexx.

Chapter 23: Reginald.

Chapter 24: Handhelds and Embedded Programming.

Chapter 25: Rexx for Palm OS.

Chapter 26: r4 and Object-Oriented roo!

Chapter 27: Open Object Rexx.

Chapter 28: Open Object Rexx Tutorial.

Chapter 29: IBM Mainframe Rexx.

Chapter 30: NetRexx.

Part III.

Appendix A: Resources.

Appendix B: Instructions.

Appendix C: Functions.

Appendix D: Regina Extended Functions.

Appendix E: Mainframe Extended Functions.

Appendix F: Rexx/SQL Functions.

Appendix G: Rexx/Tk Functions.

Appendix H: Tools, Interfaces, and Packages.

Appendix I: Open Object Rexx: Classes and Methods.

Appendix J: Mod_Rexx: Functions and Special Variables.

Appendix K: NetRexx: Quick Reference.

Appendix L: Interpreter System Information.

Appendix M: Answers to “Test Your Understanding” Questions.


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Author Information

Howard Fosdick has performed DBA and systems support work as an independent consultant for 15 years. He’s coded in Rexx for nearly two decades and has worked in most other major scripting languages. Fosdick has written many technical articles, founded two database users’ groups, and is known as the originator of such concepts as “hype cycles” and “open consulting.”
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Rexx Programmerís Reference scripts for download
To use this file, download it to your local machine and unzip it. Windows users can use the Windows built-in ZIP utilities or a 3rd party utility like WinZip. Be sure to use the correct option in your ZIP utility to preserve the directory structure when decompressing the archive.
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Do you think you've discovered an error in this book? Please check the list of errata below to see if we've already addressed the error. If not, please submit the error via our Errata Form. We will attempt to verify your error; if you're right, we will post a correction below.

ChapterPageDetailsDatePrint Run
Cover Error on Cover
the Foreword is by Michael Cowlishaw, the creator of the REXX programming language

should be:

the Foreword is by Mark Hessling, author of several REXX addons
41 Typo in Text
On page 41, the 3rd paragraph under Call Statements, the word "to" is missing from the second sentence.

It should read:

The one difference is that a function must return a value to the caller by its return instruction, where a subroutine may elect to do so.
115 Typo

should be:

Correct sentence:
"If you ever need to uninitialize a Rexx variable yourself, code the drop instruction:"
119, 123 Error in Examples
page 119:
arg string .

should be:
arg string


page 123:
parse arg string .

should be:
parse arg string
177 Typo
IBM Rationale

should be:
IBM Rational
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