Rexx advantages and disadvantages

[Copyright © IBM Corporation, 1994. All rights reserved.]

Rexx is a programming language which was developed for its users rather than for the convenience of its implementers -- those who implement its compilers and interpreters. For example, it hides the underlying mechanisms of hardware from the programmer, except where it is absolutely necessary and appropriate to expose them.

Further, in the first five years of its life the core of the language was defined and implemented by a single person (based on feedback from hundreds of early users) and was constrained by an explicit design philosophy. This has led to a language which is coherent and does what its users want it to do, and which has a sound base for future evolution.

This design approach gives Rexx several advantages over older languages:

These advantages have led to the rapid acceptance of Rexx as a language for procedure automation, application extension, and scripting. Its users cover the whole spectrum of programmers, from secretaries or workstation users who just wish to customize their environment or a spreadsheet in a flexible way, through to professional programmers writing or prototyping whole subsystems of software in Rexx.

There are relatively few disadvantages in using Rexx.

Mike Cowlishaw