Rich kids are into COBOL

Mouse mouse at Rodents-Montreal.ORG
Tue Mar 3 16:00:22 CST 2015

>> APL fails as a programming language because it is quite unlike more
>> familiar programming languages,

To my mind that is why it _succeeds_ as a programming language.

>> and doesn't offer anything new.

Perhaps I'm just revealing the paucity of the languages I know, but it
does to me - in particular, it's one of the very few languages I know
in which arrays are first-class objects, and the only one I know with a
reasonably rich set of operators tuned for operating on arrays.

>> It requires special support from the environment due to its
>> non-ASCII character set, adding further friction.

It doesn't, actually; I've seen APL systems described which use ASCII
substitutes for the various `special' characters.  (I suspect code
written that way would be less readable than with the proper
characters, but that's equally true of, say, C's trigraphs.)

> I thought it an interesting toy.

It is.  But I'd say that's a positive thing; a language that isn't an
interesting toy - ie, isn't fun to play with - is unlikely to be much
good for anything larger.

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