cclist at sydex.com
Thu Jan 14 21:43:13 CST 2021
On 1/14/21 6:42 PM, Fred Cisin via cctalk wrote:
> APL was terse.
> You could do amazing things with very short source code.
> Extremely well suited for scientific programming.
> (I used it on a timesharing terminal at Goddard Space Flight Center half
> a century ago)
> It had a lot of operators. So much so that it had to expand the
> character set. Typically, it was used on a Selectric based terminal,
> with a special type-ball, and added labels pasted on the keys.
> Unlike English based languages, such as FORTRAN or COBOL, anybody other
> than an APL programmer could not even guess what a line of APL did.
APL was difficult for those used to traditional programming languages,
not primarily because of the character set, but because it's basically a
vector/matrix programming language.
It's a different world from BASIC, for sure.
Neil maintained that its strength lay in thinking about things in a
non-scalar way. I'll give him that--programming on STAR, where a scalar
was treated by the hardware as a vector of length 1 (and thus very slow
because of startup overhead) certainly led you toward thinking about
things in vector operations, just like APL.
Here's the APL*STAR reference manual:
More information about the cctech