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Man Pages

Manual Reference Pages  -  REGINA (1)


regina - The Regina Rexx Interpreter


See Also


regina [ options ] [ script [ scriptparams ]]

rexx [ options ] [ script [ scriptparams ]]


regina will read the file named as script and will assume the contents of that file to be a Rexx program and will interpret that program. Any parameters following script will be interpreted as the parameters to the Rexx program. If script is not specified, or is specified as ‘-’, the Rexx program to interpret will be read from standard input, and interpretation will start when the whole program has been read.

The regina executable supports the use of external function packages written to the SAA API, and loaded with the RxFuncAdd BIF.

The rexx executable does not support the use of external function packages written to the SAA API, but executes slightly faster than the regina executable.


-tx Sets tracing of the program to the option(s); "x" specified. Any TRACE commands in the program will be ignored. If you want to run your program with tracing set to "Intermediate", you can use the option -ti. If only -t is specified, "All" is the trace mode set. Multiple tracing options can be specified. eg. To specify "intermediate", "interactive" tracing, specify -ti -t?.

-i Starts Regina in interactive mode. No script will be executed.

-v Displays Regina version and exits.

-a Changes the way that arguments passed on the command line are made available to the called Rexx program. With this switch each parameter on the command line is available as a separate argument, rather then the normal behaviour of only making the combined command line arguments available as one internal argument.

-l[locale] Allows the user to specify the locale to be used. Normally this switch is specified without the optional locale string which uses the system’s locale.

-p Relevant only on Win32 platforms. Results in a ‘Press ENTER key to exit...’ prompt to be displayed at the end of execution. This is useful when a Rexx program is run from Windows Explorer.

-r Runs a Rexx program is a restricted mode where any no changes to the external environment are allowed. Writing to files, loading external function packages, and running external commands are prohibited.

-ooptions Allows Regina OPTIONS to be passed to the Rexx program. The value of options is in the same format as the OPTIONS instruction.

-c Compiles the specified script to a tokenised image and writes the image to an output file which is the the only other parameter allowed to be supplied.

-e Executes the specified script as a tokenised image. All other switches above are allowed. The tokenised image is not allowed to be supplied via stdin.


Below is a list of all the standard built-in functions in Rexx. For a more complete description of each function, see the documentation accompanying Regina.

ABBREV(long,short[,length]) Returns ‘1’ or 0’, depending on whether short is an abbreviation of long , or at least length characters.

ABS(number) Returns the absolute value of number.

ADDRESS() Returns the name of the current environment.

ARG([argno[,option]]) Without parameters, it returns the number of parameters. If only ‘argno’ is specified, it must be a number, and that parameter is returned. ‘Option’ can be ‘E’, ‘N’ or ‘O’, and then either ‘0’ or ‘1’ is returned, depending on whether the numbered parameter existed or was omitted. The option ‘N’ is the same as not specifying an option.

B2X(binstring) Converts the bin-string ‘binstring’ to a hex-string.

BITAND(string1[,[string2][,padchar]]) Returns a string which is the bitwise AND of its two first parameters. The shorter string is padded with ‘padchar’.

BITOR(string1[,[string2][,padchar]]) Like ‘BITAND’ but uses logical OR.

BITXOR(string1[,[string2][,padchar]]) Like ‘BITAND’ but uses logical XOR.

C2D(string[,length]) Converts the character string ‘string’ to a decimal number. ‘Length’ specifies the number of characters in ‘string’ to convert.

C2X(string) Converts the character string ‘string’ to a hex-string.

CENTRE(string,length[,padchar]) Centers ‘string’ in a string of ‘length’ characters, using ‘padchar’ for padding, if necessary.

CHARIN([streamid][,[start][,length]]) Read ‘length’ (default is 1) characters from an input stream (default is the standard input stream), optionally starting at position ‘start’ (default is the current read position).

CHANGESTR(string1,string,string2) Changes all occurrences of ‘string1’ in the string ‘string’ to ‘string2’.

CHAROUT([streamid][,[string][,start]]) Writes ‘stream’ to an output stream (default is the standard output stream), starting at position ‘start’ (default is the current write position).

CHARS([streamid]) Returns the number of characters left in the input stream (default is the standard input stream).

COMPARE(string1,string2[,padchar]) Returns ‘0’ or ‘1’, depending on whether the two strings are equal. The shorter string is padded with ‘padchar’, or space if padchar is omitted.

CONDITION([option]) Performs various operations on streams, see other documentation.

COPIES(string,copies) Returns ‘copies’ copies of the string ‘string’.

COUNTSTR(string1,string) Returns the number of occurrences of ‘string1’ in the string ‘string’.

DATATYPE(string[,option]) Returns the datatype of ‘string’: ‘NUM’ if it is a number, ‘LIT’ if it is as valid literal that does not have a variable value, ‘VAR’ if it is a variable, and ‘BAD’ otherwise. If ‘option’ is specified, it must be one of these four, and then ‘0’ or ‘1’ is returned, depending on whether ‘string’ is of the named type.

DATE([option-out,[date,[option-in]]]) Returns the date, in various formats, which can be Base, Century, Days, European, Month, Normal, Ordered, Standard, USA, UnixTime, or Weekday. Can also be used to convert a date ‘date’ from one format ‘option-in’ to another; ‘option-out’.

DELSTR(string,start[,length]) Deletes the substring of ‘string’ starting at position ‘start’ and having a length of ‘length’ (default is the rest of the string).

DELWORD(string,start[,length]) Deletes ‘length’ words (default is the rest of the string) from ‘string’, starting at word number ‘start’

DIGITS() Returns the current setting of NUMERIC DIGITS.

D2C(integer[,length]) Converts the decimal number ‘integer’ to a character string of length ‘length’.

D2X(integer[,length]) Converts the decimal number ‘integer’ to a hex-string of length ‘length’.

ERRORTEXT(errno) Returns the error text associated with error number ‘errno’. ‘errno’ can specify a sub-error number in the format n.n. eg. 40.1

FORM() Returns the current setting of NUMERIC FORM.

FORMAT(number[,[before][,[after][,[expp][,[expt]]]]]) Formats ‘number’ into a string having ‘before’ digits before and ‘after’ digits after the decimal point. The ‘expp’ and ‘expt’ governs how and when to use exponential form.

FUZZ() Returns the current setting of NUMERIC FUZZ.

INSERT(string1,string2[,position[,length[,padchar]]]) Inserts ‘string1’ into ‘string2’ at position ‘position’ and with a length of ‘length’.

LASTPOS(needle,haystack[,start]) Seeks for ‘needle’ in ‘haystack’, from the end towards the start.

LEFT(string,length[,padchar]) Returns the ‘length’ leftmost characters in ‘string’

LENGTH(string) Returns the number of characters in ‘string’.

LINEIN([streamid][,[line][,count]]) Reads a line from an input stream (default is the standard input stream), optionally starting at ‘line’. If ‘count’ is zero, no reading is performed (only repositioning).

LINEOUT([streamid][,[string][,line]]) Writes the line ‘string’ to an output stream (default is the standard output stream, optionally starting at ‘line’.

LINES([streamid]) Returns the number of complete lines left in an input stream.

MAX(number1[,number2]...) Returns the maximum of its parameters.

MIN(number[,number]...) Returns the minimum of its parameters.

OVERLAY(string1,string2[,[start][,[length][,padchar]]]) Overwrites ‘string2’ with contents of ‘string1’.

POS(needle,haystack[,start]) Seeks for first occurrence of ‘needle’ in ‘haystack’.

QUEUED() Returns the number of lines in the external data queue (stack).


Returns a random number in the range ‘min’ to ‘max’ (default is 0 and 100000).

REVERSE(string) Reverses the order of the characters in ‘string’.

RIGHT(string,length[,padchar]) Returns the ‘length’ rightmost characters in ‘string’.

rxfuncadd(external,library,internal) Loads an external function called; ‘internal’ residing in the ‘library’ shared library. ‘external’ is the name of the function as known to the interpreter.

SIGN(number) Returns ‘-1’, ‘0’, or ‘1’, depending on the sign of ‘number’.

SOURCELINE([lineno]) Returns the number of lines in the source for the current script, or the line specified by ‘lineno’.

SPACE(string[,[length][,padchar]]) Transform any sequence of spaces in ‘string’ into exactly ‘length’ spaces, and strips off leading and trailing spaces.

STREAM(streamid[,option[,command]]) Returns infomation about a stream, valid options are ‘Command’, ‘Description’, and ‘State’. See other documentation for more information.

STRIP(string[,[option][,char]]) Strips leading and trailing ‘char’s off ‘string’. ‘Option’ can be Leading, Trailing, or Both.

SUBSTR(string,start[,[length][,padchar]]) Returns the substring of ‘string’ starting at ‘start’ and having length ‘length’.

SUBWORD(string,start[,length]) Returns a subsequence of ‘length’ words from ‘string’ starting at ‘start’.

SYMBOL(name) Test whether ‘name’ is a numbol, variable, literal.

TIME([option-out,[time,[option-in]]]) Returns the time, options are Civil, Elapsed, Hours, Long, Minutes, Normal, Reset, and Seconds. Can also be used to convert a time ‘time’ from one format ‘option-in’ to another; ‘option-out’.

TRACE([setting]) Returns the current trace setting, and optionally sets a new one.

TRANSLATE(string[,[tableout][,[tablein][,padchar]]]) Translates characters in ‘string’ from ‘tablein’ to ‘tableout’.

TRUNC(number[,length]) Truncates ‘number’ to ‘length’ decimals.

VALUE(symbol[,[value],[pool]]) Returns the value of ‘symbol’, optionally setting it to ‘value’ afterwards.

VERIFY(string,ref[,[option][,start]]) Verifies that ‘strings’ consists of characters from ‘ref’, and returns the first character that does not match. ‘Option’ can be Match or Nomatch.

WORD(string,wordno) Returns word number ‘wordno’ in ‘string’.

WORDINDEX(string,wordno) Returns the character position of word nun

WORDLENGTH(string,wordno) Returns the length of word number ‘wordno’ in ‘string’.

WORDPOS(phrase,string[,start]) Returns the word position of the start of ‘phrase’ in ‘string’.

WORDS(string) Returns the number of words in ‘string’.

XRANGE([start][,end]) Returns in alphabetic order all the characters in the character set from the character ‘start’ to the character ‘end’.

X2B(hexstring) Converts the hex-string ‘hexstring’ to a bin-string.

X2C(hexstring) Converts the hex-string ‘hexstring’ to a character string.

X2D(hexstring[,length]) Converts the ‘length’ rightmost characters of the hex-string ‘hexstring’ to a decimal number.


The Regina Rexx interpreter is distributed under the GNU Library General Public License, see the file ‘COPYING-LIB’ in the source code distribution.


Anders Christensen, University of Trondheim, Norway <>.


Changes to Regina since 0.07a, Mark Hessling <mark (at)> with significant assistance from Florian Grosse-Coosmann.

See Also

There are several good reference books on Rexx. The most famous is "The Rexx Language" by Mike Cowlishaw. Visit (The Rexx Language Association) for any Rexx related information.

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