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NetRexx Open-Sourced

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NetRexx, the JVM hosted runtime for the Rexx programming language, has been open-sourced by IBM. Rexx is a scripting language which precedes Python, Ruby and other popular scripting languages by over a decade, and was originally designed for running on mainframes (VM/MVS), but found popularity in OS/2 and even AmgiaOS 2.0 under the name ARexx.

NetRexx compiles to Java byte-code, and therefore can run on any JVM. It was initially ported to run on the JVM for Java 1.0. It has now been open-sourced by IBM to be under the Rexx Language Association, which provides stewardship for the language. Object Rexx, another variant, has already been previously open-sourced by IBM. Because NetRexx can compile to Java byte-code, there are also attempts to NetRexx running on Android. Now that it is open-sourced, we are likely to see more examples of what is possible with this powerful scripting language.

Congratulations are well deserved for Mike Cowlishaw (@MikeCowlishaw on twitter), the inventor of the Rexx language, who also invented many of the tools that ran upon Rexx such as LEXX (possibly the first text editor to support colour). He is also the person behind JSR 13, which brought the BigDecimal class to Java, as well as the specification that many other languages such as Python have followed.

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Community comments

  • Rexx, the phœnix

    by Jérôme Radix,

    Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.

    I used to play with ARexx 20 years ago on my Amiga 2000 if I remember well, I would be happy to see my scripts run on android now, it would be as weird as "Back to the future" :)

    I now play with Python and I'm happy with it.

    See how Rexx compares to other languages here :

  • Minor typo, + more info

    by Fernando Cassia,

    Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.

    "but found popularity in OS/2 and even AmgiaOS 2.0"

    It seems that in the rush while copying from my original article ;-) you type "AmgiaOS" instead of "AmigaOS". [no pun intended, although a link would have been nice]

    The good news is that is live now, and the first v3.0 open source build is available as well.

    Happy coding!

    PS: More info here too:

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