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Book Review
by Jim Moore, Technical Support Magazine, April, 2000

REXX with OS/2, TSO and CMS Features Quick Reference Guide
by Gabe Gargiulo

David Gabe Gargiulo's REXX Quick Reference Guide, published by MVS TRAINING, INC., is a must have for anyone who writes code in REXX on any platform. The book is a well-organized reference guide that expIains every REXX function. verb and
reserved variable.

The book covers the REXX language in alphabetical order so it is easy to find what you are looking for. For example, to learn more about the PARSE statement, simply look in the "P" pages. This is a handy forma' for quick reference guides because most people use them for specific help on specific coding problems. Maybe a function or verb has parameters that a programmer has never used before and he or she needs to know more about them. Or. maybe a programmer noted a feature of some function during earlier research but didn't have a need for it at the time. Now, they have a need for the untried feature and want ~ know more about how it works. Here is where a book like this is invaluable.

Interspersed throughout the book are some useful informational topics. These include compatibility issues for REXX for cross-platform code, concatenation - both within the REXX language and for the SYSEXEC/SYSPROC DD names of TSO. a full explanation of how to exploit functions, edit macros and finally, precedence of operators. These extra topics ail serve as valuable aids to REXX programming that can't be pinned down to a specific verb or function.

This book wouldn't be appropriate for someone who doesn't already have some familiarity with REXX - it is not a "how-to" or tutorial on the REXX language. Instead, it is the kind of book that a REXX programmer should have close by when he or she is about to "get creative" and do some power coding

Personally, I always find these types of books useful. A typical thing that happens to me is that I spot something that the author documents as a language feature that I had been coding "by hand" for years. That is, I discover a better and easier way to accomplish something. I then adopt the "new" (to me) technique permanently. I like that. It makes me a better, faster and more accurate programmer!

REXX with OS/2, TSO and CMS Features Quick Reference Guide is available from MVS TRAINING, INC. publisher and provider of instructor-led training (800) 356-9093 or your favorite local bookstore.

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