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The following abstract is copied from the file NETREXX.ABS that is part of 
the NetRexx package: 


NetRexx language abstract

Copyright(c) IBM Corporation, 1996, 1997.  All rights reserved.


NetRexx is a new programming language derived from both Rexx and
Java(tm); the rules of syntax closely follow those of Rexx, while the
semantics often follow Java.  It is intended as a dialect of Rexx that
can be as efficient and portable as Java, while preserving the low
threshold to learning of the original Rexx language.  Further, the
language is intended to be even more keyword safe than Rexx: it should
be possible to re-compile or execute an existing NetRexx program _from
source_ at any time without additions to the keywords known to the
language invalidating an existing program.

Like Rexx, NetRexx is designed to allow clear separation of its concepts,
so it may be introduced gradually.  Also like Rexx, sensible defaults
are defined to aid ease of use -- especially for the novice programmer.
These defaults can be turned off for the programmer who needs stricter
type-checking and certain other features.

The Java virtual machine environment is assumed to be a platform for
NetRexx, and this places some constraints on the NetRexx language.  For
example, the semantics of type resolution are in part determined by the
environment, not the language.

The constraints of efficiency, safety, and environment implied that this
language would have to differ in some details of syntax and semantics
from Rexx; it could not be a fully upwards-compatible extension to Rexx.
The need for change, however, has offered the opportunity to make some
simplifications and enhancements to the language to strengthen
the original Rexx design, and incorporate other additions from ANSI Rexx
and Object Rexx.

Mike Cowlishaw
IBM Fellow

Up-to-date information and a downloadable copy is available at the NetRexx 
Home page (see Internet - Web Pages). NetRexx is IBM EWS Software. 

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