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Author Topic: NetRexx is now free and open source courtesy of IBM  (Read 3385 times)

40hz

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NetRexx is now free and open source courtesy of IBM
« on: June 13, 2011, 02:07:54 PM »
Good news for Rexx fans. It's been open sourced and released under IBM's ICU License.


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NEWS: NetRexx Open Source

I am very happy to be able to announce that today, the 8th of June 2011 (World IPv6 Day) IBM has sent RexxLA the source code of the reference implementation of the NetRexx translator for administration and release under the ICU open source license. I would like to thank IBM, and everyone at IBM and RexxLA who has put in hard work to make this possible. This has secured the future of NetRexx, our favourite computer language, and enables us to do work on it to keep it up to date whenever this seems necessary. A special thanks to Mike Cowlishaw is in order, who not only invented and produced the language, but also was of invaluable assistance during the open source process.

This brings an end to a long period in which some have expressed doubts regarding the perspective of the language and the intentions of the parties involved. Now that we have this behind us, the real work can start. The language board will convene and draw up plans for the future. Because a lot of the work of readying the source code for publication has been done over the years past, there will be no long delay in having it available in a source code repository on the net. The www.netrexx.org site will be on the air shortly.

The IBM NetRexx web site will be changed to reflect this new status of NetRexx, and will cease to function later this year. The binary distribution will be available from www.netrexx.org initially and will reflect NetRexx 3.00, which is an almost unchanged release that contains the required source code modifications of the translator and has some small fragments of code adapted to be able to build on more recent Java versions. It is expected that 3.01 will be available from the code repository and will be the first official RexxLA release.

best regards,

René Vincent Jansen
President, Rexx Language Association.

Link to announcement here.

Not familiar with Rexx? You can read about it here.

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Rexx for everyone

Scripting with Free Software Rexx implementations

David Mertz (mertz@gnosis.cx), Developer, Gnosis Software, Inc.

David Mertz is owner and chief consultant for Gnosis Software, Inc. whose corporate slogan is "We Know Stuff!" (and we do). His fondness for IBM dates back embarrassingly many decades. You can reach David at mertz@gnosis.cx; you can investigate all aspects of his life at his personal Web page. Suggestions and recommendations on past or future articles are welcome. Check out his book, Text Processing in Python.

Summary:  It's easy to get lost in the world of "little languages" -- quite a few have been written to scratch some itch of a company, individual, or project. Rexx is one of these languages, with a long history of use on IBM operating systems, and good current implementations for Linux and other Free Software operating systems. Rexx occupies a useful ecological niche between the relative crudeness of shell scripting and the cumbersome formality of full systems languages. Many Linux programmers and systems administrators would benefit from adding a Rexx implementation to their collection of go-to tools.




wraith808

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Re: NetRexx is now free and open source courtesy of IBM
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2011, 02:22:35 PM »
Blast from the past.  I haven't kept up with Rexx since my OS/2 days...

cranioscopical

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Re: NetRexx is now free and open source courtesy of IBM
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2011, 05:08:16 PM »
I use the-now-open-source ooRexx for all kinds of odds and ends.
In Amiga days ("Multi-tasking? Who needs multi-tasking? You can't do two things at once!" they said) I liked the way Bill Hawes's ARexx hung around and acted like a traffic cop.

Renegade

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Re: NetRexx is now free and open source courtesy of IBM
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2011, 12:34:09 AM »
Is the MS version T-Rexx?
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

40hz

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Re: NetRexx is now free and open source courtesy of IBM
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2011, 06:11:55 AM »
Blast from the past.  I haven't kept up with Rexx since my OS/2 days...

Makes two of us. And I forgot how useful a tool Rexx was in the process. ;D


IainB

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Re: NetRexx is now free and open source courtesy of IBM
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2011, 02:19:36 AM »
Nostalgic thoughts from having briefly used REXX under MS-DOS/4DOS.
Well done to IBM for giving up yet more superb software to the public domain - even though it is software that is arguably fading  into obsolescence or is already obsolete.
Better that than to just bury it.

cranioscopical

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Re: NetRexx is now free and open source courtesy of IBM
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2011, 12:11:18 PM »
Nostalgic thoughts from having briefly used REXX under MS-DOS/4DOS.

Mansfield/Quercus?

40hz

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Re: NetRexx is now free and open source courtesy of IBM
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2011, 01:56:20 PM »
Nostalgic thoughts from having briefly used REXX under MS-DOS/4DOS.
Well done to IBM for giving up yet more superb software to the public domain - even though it is software that is arguably fading  into obsolescence or is already obsolete.
Better that than to just bury it.

I don't think it's all that obsolete. Rexx still gets used quite a bit in the systems world.

It's a very powerful language that fills a useful niche in the language kingdom. I've often heard Rexx compared to Java for functionality and power. I don't know enough about Java to know how accurate the comparison is. But "it's like Java done right" is how I've often heard it described.

At any rate the RexxLA has no intention of letting it fade. And now that they control the source, I think you're gonna really see them run with the ball they've been handed.

Hope so anyway. The more choices the merrier. Especially if they're "open" choices.
 :)

« Last Edit: June 15, 2011, 01:58:47 PM by 40hz »

IainB

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Re: NetRexx is now free and open source courtesy of IBM
« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2011, 04:28:03 PM »
@cranioscopical: Yes, quite.

@40hz: If your optimistic thinking and your faith are rewarded in the fullness of time and shown by events to have accurately predicted the future for REXX, then that would run contrary to IBM's past corporate behaviours and strategems.

A brief review of IBM corporate strategy would generally indicate that nothing of commercial value to IBM was given up by or taken from IBM excepting by legal force - e.g., the antitrust legislation used against it in the '70s to force it to exit its monopoly position and sell off its computer bureau services arm (I recall that CDC bought that). For many years, IBM reputedly took out more patents each year than any other corporation on the planet. It would be incorrect to say that those patents were based on philanthropic objectives, or that IBM were doing that out of altruism or for the social good - commercial profit being the statutory driving objective for all corporations. Similarly, pharmaceutical corporations' patents, Monsanto's efforts to patent the food chain, and other corporations' efforts to patent the human genome.

40hz

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Re: NetRexx is now free and open source courtesy of IBM
« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2011, 06:30:29 PM »
@40hz:[/b] If your optimistic thinking and your faith are rewarded in the fullness of time and shown by events to have accurately predicted the future for REXX, then that would run contrary to IBM's past corporate behaviours and strategems.

@IainB - Um...I'm not quite sure where you're coming from - or going to - with this. But I think you're reading a little too much into my happiness.

I'm just glad something useful got released gratis and unencumbered to a group of people with the interest and expertise to do something with it. Which I think is a finer thing than to allow it to sit on a shelf and wither away like some other technologies have been allowed to by their corporate owners.

As far as IBM's motivations go, I can't honestly say what they are. But I'm also not adverse to giving credit where credit is due. Because at the end of the day, IBM didn't have to release it. But they did. And for whatever reasons.

And I'll take seeing something good go down whenever I can.

I don't think that's 'optimistic thinking' nor 'faith.' (Whatever that means. ;D)

Maybe a little less cynicism. But that's about it. :)

Onward! :Thmbsup:


« Last Edit: June 15, 2011, 06:32:28 PM by 40hz »

IainB

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Re: NetRexx is now free and open source courtesy of IBM
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2011, 07:01:56 PM »
@40hz: Yes, I agree about it being a good thing.          :up:
As I said above:
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Better that than to just bury it.

Oh dear - you spotted some cynicism in what I wrote?!    ;)

40hz

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Re: NetRexx is now free and open source courtesy of IBM
« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2011, 08:22:23 PM »
@40hz: Yes, I agree about it being a good thing.          :up:
As I said above:
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Better that than to just bury it.

Oh dear - you spotted some cynicism in what I wrote?!    ;)

Dunno. Maybe I'm reading a little too much into it this time around?

Nuance was never my strong suit.  ;D