APL text on Web pages? Request for information 
Author Message
 APL text on Web pages? Request for information

This is a request for information.

I am preparing a workshop on APL and the Internet, including the
subject of publishing APL code within HTML pages. I am trying to
collect as much information as I can. I have summarized below the
techniques that I am aware of, either by personal experience with the
method, or by reading.

I am looking for specific information to fill the gaps in the
following summary.

If you are interested in this subject, would you like to share your
experience? Feel free to message me directly, or message the
newsgroup, whatever you prefer. I suggest you start with a quick note
- no essays required at this time! I will in any case summarize what I
receive for this newsgroup in a message within the week.

The following techniques are not ranked. Feel free to make a
recommendation or simply indicate the method you use, if any.

1. Use html tags <FONT FACE="apl font name"> xxx </FONT> The font must
reside on the workstation and the data (xxx) must be either ascii
characters or characters of the form &nnnn; where nnnn is the index of
the desired character in the "font vector" This is a general HTML
technique used for any font. I have read that this presents
difficulties for the MacIntosh user of web pages, but not having a Mac
I am unfamiliar with the difficulty.  It may be related to the lack of
an APL font for the Mac workstation. (This technique is described in
the Vector web site.) Considerations here are availability and choice
of APL fonts.

2. Use technique 1 above but specify the font using a style sheet. (I
have not used this method, but I think it is the method recommended
for future use, as FONT FACE= may be phased out in favour of the style
sheet method.)

3. Use a captured screen shot of the APL function code. I think the
data is typically in jpeg format. This technique has been reported. (I
don't have a reference) Question: What is a good choice of software or
technique to "capture" part of a screen? (Windows, MacIntosh, and
Linux) A consideration here is size of file to be downloaded.

4. Forget about using the APL font in a Web page. Present the code in
an ASCII transliteration. (Weigang's method is ofen cited.) This
method can be combined with providing the software being presented in
a separate file for download and use in a particular interpreter.

5. Forget about using APL. Switch to J, K, A, etc. which avoid using
non-ASCII symbols. ( (:>) I have seen recommendations for this
"method", and have included it for completeness, but in this list
recommendation is neither implied nor denied.)

6. Use Unicode or wait for Unicode? (Can someone provide any pointers
to people who have or are considering using Unicode for presenting APL
on Web pages?) (unicode.org is the official Unicode site.)

7. Embed APL code in PDF ("Adobe") format file to be displayed in the
browser. This requires the author to have the Adobe Acrobat software
(purchase necessary), and the browser (software and human) to have the
Adobe Reader (commonly and freely available).

8. ... some other method not listed above?

If you are still with me, let me add that I am addressing
comp.lang.apl as this group has proved very helpful in the past. It's
always a good place to start. Any and all messages will be read with
thanks.

Regards,
Richard Levine



Tue, 25 Nov 2003 10:48:58 GMT  
 APL text on Web pages? Request for information
8. .....
Try
http://www.cs.bgu.ac.il/~gmayer/interests-programming-languages/apl/a...
tml.html

/Alexander

Quote:
-----Original Message-----

Gateway
Sent: Thursday, June 07, 2001 11:44 PM

Subject: APL text on Web pages? Request for information


This is a request for information.

I am preparing a workshop on APL and the Internet, including the
subject of publishing APL code within HTML pages. I am trying to
collect as much information as I can. I have summarized below the
techniques that I am aware of, either by personal experience with the
method, or by reading.

I am looking for specific information to fill the gaps in the
following summary.

If you are interested in this subject, would you like to share your
experience? Feel free to message me directly, or message the
newsgroup, whatever you prefer. I suggest you start with a quick note
- no essays required at this time! I will in any case summarize what I
receive for this newsgroup in a message within the week.

The following techniques are not ranked. Feel free to make a
recommendation or simply indicate the method you use, if any.

1. Use html tags <FONT FACE="apl font name"> xxx </FONT> The font must
reside on the workstation and the data (xxx) must be either ascii
characters or characters of the form &nnnn; where nnnn is the index of
the desired character in the "font vector" This is a general HTML
technique used for any font. I have read that this presents
difficulties for the MacIntosh user of web pages, but not having a Mac
I am unfamiliar with the difficulty.  It may be related to the lack of
an APL font for the Mac workstation. (This technique is described in
the Vector web site.) Considerations here are availability and choice
of APL fonts.

2. Use technique 1 above but specify the font using a style sheet. (I
have not used this method, but I think it is the method recommended
for future use, as FONT FACE= may be phased out in favour of the style
sheet method.)

3. Use a captured screen shot of the APL function code. I think the
data is typically in jpeg format. This technique has been reported. (I
don't have a reference) Question: What is a good choice of software or
technique to "capture" part of a screen? (Windows, MacIntosh, and
Linux) A consideration here is size of file to be downloaded.

4. Forget about using the APL font in a Web page. Present the code in
an ASCII transliteration. (Weigang's method is ofen cited.) This
method can be combined with providing the software being presented in
a separate file for download and use in a particular interpreter.

5. Forget about using APL. Switch to J, K, A, etc. which avoid using
non-ASCII symbols. ( (:>) I have seen recommendations for this
"method", and have included it for completeness, but in this list
recommendation is neither implied nor denied.)

6. Use Unicode or wait for Unicode? (Can someone provide any pointers
to people who have or are considering using Unicode for presenting APL
on Web pages?) (unicode.org is the official Unicode site.)

7. Embed APL code in PDF ("Adobe") format file to be displayed in the
browser. This requires the author to have the Adobe Acrobat software
(purchase necessary), and the browser (software and human) to have the
Adobe Reader (commonly and freely available).

8. ... some other method not listed above?

If you are still with me, let me add that I am addressing
comp.lang.apl as this group has proved very helpful in the past. It's
always a good place to start. Any and all messages will be read with
thanks.

Regards,
Richard Levine

_________________________________________________________
Do You Yahoo!?




Tue, 25 Nov 2003 21:59:26 GMT  
 APL text on Web pages? Request for information
Richard,

I recommend that you encode your APL text in 8 bit Unicode Transformation
Representation, specify UTF-8 in the HTML meta tag charset
value, and specify an APL Unicode font either using a cascading style
sheet or font tag.  This provides display of true Unicode APL characters.
It even allows for input of APL characters using the APL2 Keyboard
Handler.

I discussed this in the IBM Vendor Forum at APL 2000 in Berlin.  We ship
an HTTP server with all APL2 products which does automatic conversion
between UTF-8 and internal interpreter format and supports display and
entry of APL characters on web page.  For more information, you can get a
demonstration copy of APL2 from http://www.ibm.com/software/ad/apl, )LOAD
2 NETTOOLS, run the function HTTP_SERVER, and connect to the server using
your favorite browser.  The server's default pages describe how to
configure the server including exploiting its support for APL characters.

David Liebtag
IBM APL Products and Services



Wed, 26 Nov 2003 07:10:09 GMT  
 APL text on Web pages? Request for information
Richard,

I forgot to mention,,,

Requiring your users have an APL font is getting less and less difficult,
There are now several companies offering Unicode fonts which include APL
characters.  For example, the MS Arial Unicode font that ships with
Microsoft Office's international support includes them.  For more
information, check the Products link on the Unicode web site:
www.unicode.org.

David Liebtag
IBM APL Products and Services



Wed, 26 Nov 2003 07:14:16 GMT  
 APL text on Web pages? Request for information

Quote:
> Richard,

> I forgot to mention,,,

> Requiring your users have an APL font is getting less and
> less difficult,  There are now several companies offering
> Unicode fonts which include APL characters.  For example,
> the MS Arial Unicode font that ships with  Microsoft Office's
> international support includes them.

Just the international support?  So they still consider us to be foreign?

            /Jim



Wed, 26 Nov 2003 13:30:54 GMT  
 APL text on Web pages? Request for information

Quote:
> This is a request for information.

> ...publishing APL code within HTML pages.

> 1. Use html tags <FONT FACE="apl font name"> xxx </FONT>
> The font must reside on the workstation...

> 2. Use technique 1 above but specify the font using a style sheet.

What do you do if the font's not there?  That's been a perennial problem, since
seeing things in a non-APL font destroys the informational content.  But I
wonder...

So many web pages these days not only download images and sound files, but
install significant new software.  Surely, the same could be done with one or
more APL fonts.  The fonts are smaller than many image and sound files, so the
download time shouldn't be any more annoying than what the average browser
experiences with every other page.  Installation should only need to be done
once.  And installing a font should be a lot less dangerous than installing
foreign programs, which many people do on a regular basis (though I personally
consider it to be very dangerous).

Disclaimer:  My above comments are mostly speculation, not based on things I
have done.

Quote:
> 3. Use a captured screen shot of the APL function code. I think the
> data is typically in jpeg format.

I've seen GIF used more often than JPEG, and sometimes even bitmaps.  The
advantage to 1. and 2. over 3. is that one can (usually) cut and paste into an
APL interpreter when using fonts, but not with images.

Quote:
> 4. Forget about using the APL font in a Web page. Present the code in
> an ASCII transliteration. (Weigang's method is ofen cited.) This
> method can be combined with providing the software being presented in
> a separate file for download and use in a particular interpreter.

That loses one of the prominent characteristics of APL, the compactness and
mnemonic quality of its notation.  Sort of like presenting the concept of
decimal notation for addition using "twenty-three plus
one-hundred-thirty-seven" instead of "23+137" (and think of both as being
presented in vertical format).

Quote:
> 5. Forget about using APL. Switch to J, K, A, etc.

While there may be arguments for switching to J, K, or A+ for programming
purposes, they hardly accomplish the purpose of "publishing APL code".  It
wouldn't be a simple substitution of symbols, since the grammars are different,
there's not a one-to-one correspondence of "words", and even the meanings of
certain words are quite different.  E.g., "transpose" has significantly
different definitions in APL, J, and K.

As for A+, while it does have the option of using an all-ASCII substitute
notation, I never knew anyone who actually used that (back when I worked with
A, before it became A+).  We/they all insisted on using the APL characters.  So
"switching to A" notation is, in my mind, the same as using the APL symbols.

Quote:
> 6. Use Unicode or wait for Unicode? (Can someone provide any pointers
> to people who have or are considering using Unicode for presenting APL
> on Web pages?) (unicode.org is the official Unicode site.)

Nice in theory, but as with 1. and 2., I believe you would still need a Unicode
font which includes the APL character set, AND you would need to be able to
specify the appropriate characters.  If the required font isn't resident, it
would still have to be downloaded from somewhere, no?

And even then, could the author cut-and-paste code from an APL session into the
HTML editor (e.g., MS Word) and have it converted to the correct Unicode
representation?  Could I then cut-and-paste from the web page into my
interpreter and have executable code?

Dave Liebtag's suggestions are interesting, and maybe useful for IBM's APL2,
but I wonder if one can use the same technique with APL2000, Dyalog APL/W, SAX,
etc.  It's also not clear to me that it supports cut-and-paste in either
direction between the APL session and the web document.  David?

Quote:
> 7. Embed APL code in PDF ("Adobe") format file to be displayed in the
> browser. This requires the author to have the Adobe Acrobat software
> (purchase necessary), and the browser (software and human) to have the
> Adobe Reader (commonly and freely available).

And the biggest pain for me:  One cannot copy text from a PDF document.
Cut-and-paste is prevented.

Good luck.  I would be very interested in your attempts.

            /Jim Lucas



Wed, 26 Nov 2003 15:13:07 GMT  
 APL text on Web pages? Request for information

Quote:
>        [...]

Issues I neglected to mention -- perhaps because I don't know enough about them
to comment intelligently -- include:

    1)  Whether any particular solution works with older versions of browsers.
Many people haven't updated their browsers in years.  I don't know what
percentage that is of people who would be interested in APL.

    2)  Whether any particular solution works with Java -- or particular Java
features -- turned off.

    3)  What particular obstacles might be encountered by non-Windows (Mac,
linux, etc.) users.  E.g., even if they download a TrueType font, can they use
it?

    4)  Whether the sum of any difficulties resulting from point 1-3) is any
more significant than difficulties resulting from "solutions" to those
particular problems.  E.g., would you consider it more important that Mac users
be able to read the APL text, or that users of Dyalog APL/W (for example) be
able to cut and paste into their APL sessions?

                /Jim



Wed, 26 Nov 2003 16:02:14 GMT  
 APL text on Web pages? Request for information
Richard, I applaud you for opening this subject.
ASCII transliteration was an approach to a similar problem
ten years ago, but it does not do all that I want now.
My wish list is this:

        (a) I want to be able to see APL code in my web browser
                that looks reasonably close to what I see in
                my APL interpreter.

        (b) I want my readers to see the same APL code
                on their screens.

        (c) I want to be able to grab small pieces of code off
                my screen and paste it into my interpreter.
                (I do not want to re-key what I see on the screen)

        (d) I want the same for my readers.

        (e) I am not sure about this one... Do I want to be
                able to move larger pieces of code by the same method?
                Other methods for workspace interchange
                already exist, but if a better one comes along,
                I will jump to it.

Quote:
> 1. Use html tags <FONT FACE="apl font name"> xxx </FONT> The font must

        I have yet to see a web page done this way that works.
        The biggest problem is wish (b).

Quote:
> 2. Use technique 1 above but specify the font using a style sheet. (I
> have not used this method, but I think it is the method recommended
> for future use, as FONT FACE= may be phased out in favour of the style
> sheet method.)

        Style sheet is "good thing", but (correct me if I am wrong)
        the APL font is still the problem.

Quote:
> 3. Use a captured screen shot of the APL function code.

        This satisfies (a) and (b) but not (c) and (d).

Quote:
> A consideration here is size of file to be downloaded.

        Give up on considerations of size if you use screen shots.

Quote:
> 4. Forget about using the APL font in a Web page.  Present the code in
> an ASCII transliteration. (Weigang's method is ofen cited.) This
> method can be combined with providing the software being presented in
> a separate file for download and use in a particular interpreter.

        ASCII transliteration schemes work great for APL
        interchange, but they fail to meet the wishes of (a),
        (b), (c) and (d).

Quote:
> 5. Forget about using APL. Switch to J, K, A, etc. which avoid using
> non-ASCII symbols.

        There are similarities, but these languages are not APL.

        Even these languages J, K and A require special handling
        to present the code in HTML, because HTML uses tags
        with pointy brackets (less than and greater than) as
        the markup language.  This means that a "<" and ">" have to be
        translated to "&lt;"  and "&gt;" in HTML.

Quote:
> 6. Use Unicode or wait for Unicode? (Can someone provide any pointers
> to people who have or are considering using Unicode for presenting

APL > on Web pages?) (unicode.org is the official Unicode site.)

        A full APL Repertoire exists inside Unicode.  See

        http://www.*-*-*.com/ ~ljdickey/apl-rep/tables/

        In a sense this repertoire provides the one
        true "Atomic vector" that covers all APL
        implementations.

        It is my opinion that we should fucus our efforts here.

Quote:
> 7. Embed APL code in PDF ("Adobe") format file to be displayed in the
> browser. This requires the author to have the Adobe Acrobat software
> (purchase necessary), and the browser (software and human) to have the
> Adobe Reader (commonly and freely available).

        Like screen shots, this fails (c) and (d).

Quote:
> 8. ... some other method not listed above?

        I hope that the method adopted by APL2 has the
        potential to be ported to other APL implementions.

        The method of G. Mayer looks great.

        http://www.*-*-*.com/ ~gmayer/
                interests-programming-languages/apl/apl-in-html.html

        His method uses less bandwidth than a screen shot,
        but has the same limitation ... it fails (c) and (d).
        I wish that Mayer had used one of the existing ASCII
        transliteration schemes for his intermediate language.

Lee{*filter*}ey
--
Prof. Leroy J.{*filter*}ey, Faculty of Mathematics, U of Waterloo, Canada  N2L 3G1

          http://www.*-*-*.com/ ~ljdickey



Wed, 26 Nov 2003 20:10:23 GMT  
 APL text on Web pages? Request for information

Quote:
> > Requiring your users have an APL font is getting less and
> > less difficult,  There are now several companies offering
> > Unicode fonts which include APL characters.  For example,
> > the MS Arial Unicode font that ships with  Microsoft Office's
> > international support includes them.

And if you're not using Windoze?

Ted



Fri, 28 Nov 2003 00:07:41 GMT  
 APL text on Web pages? Request for information

Quote:

> So many web pages these days not only download images and sound files, but
> install significant new software.

Not on my system, they don't!  That would be a __HUGE__ security hole.
(Fake APL font containing {*filter*} virus?)

Ted



Fri, 28 Nov 2003 00:07:42 GMT  
 APL text on Web pages? Request for information

Quote:

> I am preparing a workshop on APL and the Internet, including the
> subject of publishing APL code within HTML pages. I am trying to
>...

APL is not the only place where this problem is encountered.  I am also
interested in GPS and mapping and have read and downloaded a number of
pages with mathematical formulae in them.  Requiring specific fonts or
software is a non-starter unless you wish to serve only people of poor
taste (Windows users).  ;-)

I would suggest a three pronged approach.  If the APL lines are
relatively sparse, capture small screen images as .GIFs.  Both PMView
and Paint Shop Pro can do this easily and, I'm sure, many programs as
well.  Even fairly large blocks can be captured in this fashion but
avoid capturing large blocks of plain text in the interest of reduced
file size.

For the benefit of those who might wish to execute the code, include
access to a .ZIP file of an .ATF file of your APL objects.  .ATF files
should be .ZIP'd for transmission.  Not only does this save a lot of
bandwidth but many browsers think .ATF's are ASCII and display them
without providing a mechanism for capture.

Finally, either .ZIP the whole page and give a prompt for downloading
it.  This allows those who would prefer to download and read off-line to
do so.  Life is much simpler if you keep all objects in one subdirectory
(aka folder) with no drive:<path> specifications in the HTML.  Believe
it or not, not everyone keeps everything on C:.

Oh, yes.  Include a link to places where one can download a demo version
of one or more APL's for the sake of the
would-be-but-not-yet-indoctrinated experimenter.  e.g.
ftp://ftp.software.ibm.com/ps/products/apl2/demos/

Ted



Fri, 28 Nov 2003 01:07:58 GMT  
 APL text on Web pages? Request for information

Quote:

> > 3. Use a captured screen shot of the APL function code.
>         This satisfies (a) and (b) but not (c) and (d).

Including a .ZIP'd ATF file will do this.  Of course, this only works
for somone who has a compatible APL.  Note that for the benefit of those
who do, the plain text can be included as a variable in the .ATF file so
the entire session can be examined from within APL.  Some years ago, I
published my ECHO package which was specifically intended for online
classroom instrucion of (or using) APL.

Quote:
>         Give up on considerations of size if you use screen shots.

Not too bad if only a relatively few of the total lines are APL.  For an
example of a highly readable page, see
http://ralph.bucher.home.att.net/project.html .  While readable by
pretty much anyone with web access, this technique does not permit
capture and execution but the above suggestion overcomes that.

Quote:
>         ASCII transliteration schemes work great for APL
>         interchange, but they fail to meet the wishes of (a),
>         (b), (c) and (d).

Any transliteration fails to give the flavour to a non-APLer.  It's fine
on this (ASCII) newsgroup but inappropriate for showing off (:-)) the
language.

Quote:
>         A full APL Repertoire exists inside Unicode.  See

Does this work on _all_ platforms or is it yet another Windoze specific
app?

Quote:
>         I hope that the method adopted by APL2 has the
>         potential to be ported to other APL implementions.

Somehow I missed this.  What are you refering to?

Ted



Fri, 28 Nov 2003 01:08:00 GMT  
 APL text on Web pages? Request for information


Quote:
>I discussed this in the IBM Vendor Forum at APL 2000 in Berlin.  We
>ship  an HTTP server with all APL2 products which does automatic
>conversion  between UTF-8 and internal interpreter format and supports
>display and  entry of APL characters on web page.  For more
>information, you can get a  demonstration copy of APL2 from
>http://www.ibm.com/software/ad/apl, )LOAD  2 NETTOOLS, run the function
>HTTP_SERVER, and connect to the server using  your favorite browser.
>The server's default pages describe how to  configure the server
>including exploiting its support for APL characters.

I just attempted to )LOAD 2 NETTOOLS here on my APL2 for OS/2 Entry
Version 1 Service Level 19 system and received a "NOT FOUND".  You note
above that it is available for the demo version, is it also available
for separate download?  I would like to check it out.

-- Dave
-----------------------------------------------------------
dhdurgee<at>verizon<dot>net
-----------------------------------------------------------



Sat, 29 Nov 2003 00:32:38 GMT  
 APL text on Web pages? Request for information
Jim,

If you don't want to require your users install the fonts you need, ship
them as dynamic fonts.  This technology allows you to package your fonts
so they are automatically downloaded.  Your web pages reference the font
similarly to how they reference pictures.  I believe the technology is
available from a couple of vendors.  For more information you can consult
http://www.truedoc.com/webpages/intro/.

David Liebtag
IBM APL Products and Services



Sat, 29 Nov 2003 00:41:57 GMT  
 APL text on Web pages? Request for information
Ted,

Moving APL code around the web is also a solved problem.  IBM, Dyadic,
APL2000, (and I believe Soliton) now all support the Self Contained Array
(SCAR) format developed by Insight Systems.  Arbitrary arrays can be
encoded in SCAR format and passed between dialogs and platforms.  The APL2
HTTP server uses the SCAR format to even support calling APL functions
across the net.  For further information please consult:
http://www.insight.dk/scardesign/

David Liebtag
IBM APL Products and Services



Sat, 29 Nov 2003 00:48:05 GMT  
 
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