Power Through Simplicity
There’s much more to Rexx than I can summarize here, so let’s conclude with one last fascinating feature. Rexx features content addressable memory (sometimes called associative memory). This simply means that you can create compound variables, variables consisting of names separated by periods, like these:
this.compound.variable this.compound.variable.1 my_array.1 my_array.2 my_tree.level.one my_tree.level.two my_tree.level.two.a my_tree.level.two.b my_tree.level.three
You can create compound variables with any number of levels or components. This enables you to create any data structure by using them. You can create lists, arrays, tables, balanced or unbalanced trees, key-value pairs, queues, dequeues, or any other data structure.
This illustrates how Rexx is designed to give you "power through simplicity." Compound variables can be used to create nearly any data structure, yet they require no complex or specialized syntax.
For more on object-oriented and procedural scripting with Rexx, visit RexxInfo.org. The site includes free tutorials, sample code, free interpreters and tools, reference material, and more. Rexx is a very easy language to learn, yet you won’t run out of power after you learn it. Best of all, you’ll have fun!
Howard Fosdick is the author of Rexx Programmer’s Reference (Wrox, 2005), a comprehensive sourcebook on the language. It includes a tutorial, complete reference guide, and many example programs. The book covers both object-oriented and procedural Rexx scripting.