Description of TCVM1

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Advanced REXX Telecourse

by Guy De Ceulaer and Kris Buelens

What is this ?

This site presents an advanced course on REXX, focused mainly on VM/ESA, but some characteristics of REXX on OS/2 are covered too.

Originally, this course was presented on paper.  It was run as a kind of correspondence course, whereby we mailed a lesson text and a set of exercises to the students.  The students had then to assimilate the material and to send back the results of their work.  The results were reviewed by us, commented in another paper and sent back to the students bundled with the next lesson text.

Now, with an extensive amount of work, it is transformed to HTML so that it can be taken via a web browser. 

It is supposed that you already have some experience with REXX.  If that is not the case, we suggest that you first read the REXX User's Guide

This course builds on the basic REXX skills, and this material adds the experience of your instructors (together, more than 40 years VM and REXX experience).  Not only experience on REXX, but also experience in teaching, as we were instructors for many years at the IBM Education Center in Belgium.

The text therefore contains:

  • more practical examples
  • hints and tips, better techniques
  • warnings against common errors
  • advanced technical background information
  • exercises, with extensive comments on the solutions

Furthermore, the concept of self-study lets you learn at your own pace, when you have the time, and without traveling problems.  The discipline to take the most out of this course is now totally yours, as there is no longer a two-way dialog where we can correct and comment on the students' work.  The possibilities offered by the browsers are also exploited, augmenting the conviviality of an otherwise boring book.

It may be a hard job to take the whole course in one shot.  Count at least an average of 2 hours per chapter for reading, and slightly more for the exercises and the review of the commented solutions.  The printout of the whole course could result in as much as 300 pages !

A second Telecourse exists too: CMS Pipelines, also available on this site.  As opposed to this REXX telecourse, the CMS Pipelines telecourse requires no previous Pipelines experience, we start at the beginning.

Installation Instructions

Download the TCVM1 ZIP file to a workstation and unzip it into a directory dedicated to this course.
Use a frames capable browser to open the INDEX.HTM file.

The course can be installed on VM (or other) webservers too.

Publish on your Intranet

If you store the courses on your INTRAnet web server and want to allow end-users to download it (e.g. to study it at home), add a link to the TCVM1 ZIP file on the page that announces the course itself.  An example:

<p>Online courses:
TARGET="BLANK">Advanced Rexx</A> 
<small>Date: March 2007</small>
<br>In this online course you can learn to become a REXX
Download to your own PC is possible too:
Download course</A>
TARGET="BLANK">CMS Pipelines</A> 
<small>Date: March 2007</small>
<br>This course learns you how to start using CMS Pipelines,
step by step. 
Download to your own PC is possible too:
Download course</A>

Publish on the Internet

We have no real objections if you make these Telecourses available on the INTERNET (an e-mail to tell us is appreciated).  To enable downloads of the .ZIP files, we would however prefer that you then point to the VM web site instead.  That is, the link should point to  You should add a link to VM's license agreement for download:

Change History

V1.3 Jan 2018

We found out that examples and simple drawings were no longer displayed with a fixed font by the browsers used these days. As a consequence boxes or characters were no longer aligned.

V1.2 Jul 2010

We were told that the TCVM2.ZIP file cannot be used very well on systems with case sensitive file systems (like Unix and Linux). We fixed the HTML files of TCVM1 too to use uppercase file identifications and ship all files with uppercase names.

V1.1 Feb 2007

There are a few small changes:

  • Fixed typing errors
  • The solutions for lesson 7, 8 and 9 were missing in the ZIP file (thanks Jonathan Miller for telling us).
  • The course can now be opened by selecting INDEX.HTM or TCPVM1.HTM.  Previously, TCVM1.HTM didn't give you the frames enabled course, it displayed the not-so-nice table of contents.
  • Guy De Ceulaer retired from work, so we changed his e-mail address accordingly.


There are a few small changes:

  • The "Toolkit" VMARC file was not included in the ZIP file.
  • Colors in the "course content" frame were changed to give a better display in Mozilla.