getting started

  • Nobody/Anonymous

    Hi I used to program using Rexx on an old 390 mainframe and wanted to write some programs at home (several years later) using my vista machine. I've been trying to work out how to get started but so far can;t find any simple instructions about downloading the environment etc. is there a step by step guide for someone like me please, thanks, Tim

    • Mark Harsen

      Mark Harsen - 2009-07-13

      Welcome to OOREXX! You’re in for a huge number of almost unbelievable delights with OOREXX as compared to REXX on the mainframes. I started out in EXEC, then EXEC2, and finally fell in love with REXX when it came out. OOREXX is as far beyond IBM’s original REXX as REXX was above EXEC. It can be a bit overwhelming at first, but jump right into objects, messaging, multithreading, and etcetera and you’ll have a blast! I'll be glad to help where I can.

      As to the environment, there isn’t a development environment anymore since it wasn't among the parts IBM gave to the open source community. I use TextPad as an editor and have a complete language markup file for OOREXX and Zoc (telnet/SSH that’s OOREXX driven), but my employees think I've gone crazy with colors!

      As far as installation, you can get the newest release candidate (or the older production 3.2 release and etcetera) at Pick your platform and download the correct set. I’m using Windows Vista and XP 32 bit, so I download There are 64 bit packages too, but I'm not sure which one is correct one for an Intel based, 64 bit Vista. Does anyone else know? I hope this helps some.


    • Mark Miesfeld

      Mark Miesfeld - 2009-07-13

      As far as Windows goes, only Windows uses the .exe extension for executable files. There are only 2 install packages that have the .exe extension. One ends in i386.exe and the other ends in x86_64.exe

      So, I thought it would be exceeding self-evident which file to get for a Windows machine. <grin> Apparently I'm too close to the situation because recently we have had several people comment on how it is hard for them to know what file to get.

      Back to the original poster's questions.

      As Mark Harsen said, to get started download one of the installation packages we provide on SourceForge. I would suggest getting the 4.0.0 version as it is pretty stable at this point. You need to know if you are running Vista 64-bit or not. If you are running 32-bit Vista you have to use the 32-bit version of ooRexx. On 64-bit Vista you can use either 32-bit or 64-bit ooRexx, but of course it would make the most sense to install the 64-bit ooRexx on 64-bit Vista.

      This is the 32-bit Windows installation package:

      This is the 64-bit Windows installation package:

      The install is very simple and it will completely set up the environment for you. Just double-click on the install package, supply an Administrator's password when asked and go with all the defaults of any options.

      If you still have problems getting started, let us know where exactly you are stuck and some one will give you some help.

      Mark Miesfeld


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