NetRexx is a programming and scripting language which has been designed
to be a simple, effective, and complete alternative to the Java
With NetRexx, you can create applications and applets for the Java
environment faster and more easily than by programming in Java
and you can compile or interpret them, as appropriate. The new
-prompt option allows very fast (usually sub-second) compilation
or interpretation of most classes.
Using Java classes is especially easy in NetRexx, as the different
types of numbers and strings that Java expects are handled automatically
by the language.
NetRexx classes and Java classes are entirely equivalent NetRexx
can use any Java class (and vice versa).
Here's what a "Hello World" program looks like in NetRexx:
/* A program, written in NetRexx */
say 'Hello World!'
To see more examples of what the language looks like, try the NetRexx samples page, or browse the NetRexx quick start, an overview of the
Initial measurements using the current implementation suggest that the
Java source for a typical class has approximately 35% more lexical
tokens and requires 20% more keystrokes than the equivalent in NetRexx.
The free reference implementation for the language can either interpret
the language directly, or it can compile it into pure Java .class files.
In the latter case it first translates the NetRexx source code into Java
source code; this is then compiled in turn to generate the Java
bytecodes (class files) for execution. The Java code can be kept for
maintenance, and can also be used to generate javadoc
The compiler/interpreter is (of course) written in NetRexx, and should
run on any Java platform that supports a Java 1.1.2 (or later) toolkit
and compiler (javac).
By default, NetRexxC automatically calls the javac compiler to
create class files, but you can use other Java compilers if you wish.
No Java compiler is needed to interpret NetRexx programs, though Java 2
(1.2) is needed for this.
For formal details of the language, please see the NetRexx documentation
at http://www2.hursley.ibm.com; you'll find
the NetRexx packages to download there, too.
NetRexx 1.1 includes many new features, including some that especially
simplify the programming of the Java 1.1 event model, inner classes, and
JavaBeans. NetRexx 2 supports direct interpretation and other new
NetRexx is inspired by two very different programming languages,
Java. It blends the clean
easy-to-learn syntax of Rexx with the robustness and portability of the
Java environment. The result is a language which is tuned for both
scripting and application development, and is designed for both
interpretation and compilation. It is therefore truly general-purpose.