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I remember using REXX At Ft Sill. We were assigned tasks, then not allowed to do them (for about 8 months)). So we wrote a D & D game in REXX to kill time (and the local orcs)
A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, navigate a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects! - Lazarus Long
Around 1992 or so, back when my ANSI-escape-sequence-Fu was strong, I was co-owner of a BBS running on an Amiga 2000. When we added a 2nd phone line, I wrote a 3-way chat extension in (A)Rexx (SysOp and 2 users). I still feel that Rexx is the most comfortable (for lack of a better word) of scripting/interpreted languages.
After the internet pretty much made BBSs a thing of the past, I wrote a USENET client in Arexx. Rexx is just fun.
PowerShell scripting would be really awesome if they could be written in Rexx. 😃
Eagles my fly, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.
Many years ago I used REXX a lot on VM. I wrote small things like macros for XEDIT, and larger things like a source management system. I also created a port to VSE (before IBM provided it there, thanks to IBM for delivering the assembler source with VM). I loved it. I miss it these days.
Until recently REXX (or to be more precise the open source ooREXX) was the scripting language of our comercial LabMaster FA product. We have now replaced REXX with Python, but I have written and maintained a lot of REXX code while working here. ooREXX is quite interesting as it adds objects to REXX while maintaining compatiblity with classic REXX.
Interestingly many years a ago we tried to recruit someone with REXX experience but we only managed to get a couple of CVs, both of which had very limited experience of the language.
I programmed a whole training administration system in Rexx, with online registration via VM. I wrote some core modules in IBM System/370 Assembler to keep a chain of blocks used to handle program requests without conflicts, and another to simplify writing to a green screen 3270 terminal. One power of Rexx is string handling, for which I have had to write my own libraries in other languages. I taught a class in it once to a large insurance company. I was very productive with Rexx. Best language I've ever worked with. Debugging was also great. I could view a stream of executed statements as they were executed and save it as a log.
I was an IBM "Customer Engineer" in the early 80's and wrote a TSO/ISPF app (c/w menus) in REXX to let field service personnel access mainframe and peripheral diagnostic data without having to write JCL. I was stationed at the Bank of Nova Scotia datacentre
Later, when I was an Instructor at the IBM Education Centre in Toronto, I wrote an Interactive Questionnaire Facility on VM to allow Instructors to create and administer course and instructor evaluations. It also had a reporting component for printing out the results.
I love that language. It was a joy to use and got me hooked on programming. Enough to make me shift disciplines from hardware engineering to software. I've never looked back.
Thanks for evoking the memories.
"I intend to live forever - so far, so good." Steven Wright
"I almost had a psychic girlfriend but she left me before we met." Also Steven Wright
"I'm addicted to placebos. I could quit, but it wouldn't matter." Steven Wright yet again.
I used ole Rexx on VM/CMS at Boeing circa '89
As far as mainframes go, VM/CMS was A OK by me.
XEDIT. Ugh. That takes me back. Not terrible. But also not great
We would always use our BIGMSG EXEC to blast each other's
screens full of some silly message.
Never used it on Windows, but used it on my Amiga 500.
They called it ARexx over there.
Fun at the time but I'll not be pickin it back up again sigh.
I used REXX extensively as a System Programmer in a VM/DOS/VSE/MVS shop back in the day. So easy to use compared to Assembler and PL/I. When I was promoted to manage the application programming staff I built a full project management application with it.
The simple, natural syntax was really refreshing.
Totally off topic, I also enjoyed hobby programming in Forth, especially the excellent books by Thom Hogan.
Heh, I loved Forth back in the day. I've written Forth systems for the z80 and for the 68000 processors (for industrial control systems). One was a subroutine threaded multitasking version used as an intermediate language. The development application on the PC would compile to Forth which would than be downloaded to the industrial controller where it would be compiled to machine code. Was definitely a fun project.
Sometime in the late 80s I was working on a new CICS system for DOS/VSE, written in PLI. I was barely trained in CICS but still the "expert" as far as my team went. I was also the PLI guy, the other programmers were COBOL folks.
I wrote a system in Rexx to run under VM and generate skeleton code for transactions from text descriptions. That got enabled even beginners to create and test dummy transactions with the perspective users, iterating to get the UI to the point where they liked it, learning PLI as they worked with the generated code.
Of course looking at code was how we learned a language back then anyway. We had reference manuals but not books intended to teach the language.
My favorite Rexx feature: uninitialized variables had the value of their name, so there was no such thing as an NRE!
I used it for a telecomms control and billing application I wrote on Amiga. If I remember correctly, I wrote the entire first version of the application in ARexx because the database we were using only had a ARexx API. I remember it having a GUI and everything. It even communicated with serial devices.
I then rewrote most of the application in C++, as it needed a better GUI, and C++ made sense for that. The DB interfacing remained in ARexx so there were plenty of ARexx to maintain. A lot of the business logic existed in ARexx.