REXX - Features

Features

REXX has the following characteristics and features:

  • simple syntax
  • small instruction set containing just two dozen instructions
  • freeform syntax
  • case insensitive tokens, including variable names
  • character string basis
  • dynamic data typing, no declarations
  • no reserved keywords, except in local context
  • arbitrary numerical precision
  • decimal arithmetic, floating-point
  • a rich selection of built-in functions, especially string and word processing
  • automatic storage management
  • crash protection
  • content addressable data structures
  • associative arrays
  • straightforward access to system commands and facilities
  • simple error-handling, and built-in tracing and debugger
  • few artificial limitations
  • simplified I/O facilities
  • unconventional operators
  • only partly supports Unix style command line parameters, except specific implementations
  • provides no basic terminal control as part of the language, except specific implementations
  • provides no generic way to include functions and subroutines from external libraries, except specific implementations

REXX has just twenty-three, largely self-evident, instructions (e.g., call, parse, and select) with minimal punctuation and formatting requirements. It is essentially an almost free-form language with only one data-type, the character string; this philosophy means that all data are visible (symbolic) and debugging and tracing are simplified.

REXX syntax looks similar to PL/I, but has fewer notations; this makes it harder to parse (by program) but easier to use, except for cases where PL/I habits may lead to surprises.

Read more about this topic:  REXX

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