Simple courses in J for simple (ordinary) people 
Author Message
 Simple courses in J for simple (ordinary) people

            > I sincerely want to learn J and purchased
            > the shareware over a year ago. And still
            > I don't understand a thing about J.
I understand your feeling I had the same experience with J (and Apl long
before that) in the beginning. Do not give up. Try to find something easy
and small to solve and you will soon begin to pick up ways of solving
problems and then create tools to handle to easy cases which can then
be applied on the more advanced problems.

            > The language of the book has to be redone
            > or a simple, layman's edition written.
The language of the books that come with J are quite OK. What is needed
are more books and they do not need to come from the developers of J.

Here is really a challenge for you. You write down what you do when you
learning J. Then you can tell others about those steps and the path for
coming after you will be easier.

It is always difficult to write easy books about things you understand
and use.
You really have to be in the position you are to understand what you do
understand. Once you are past the position you are stuck at you begin to
forget what the problem was.

The strength of any computer language in terms of gathering followers is
having lot of text written about it in easy steps. Once you have more
using the language you get more books written about it and then more
people start using it.

If you look at basic which allows you to do next to nothing but you have
numerous books written about it and an unbelievable number of people
using it.

If we want to attract more users to J we have to get all kinds of new
written by ordinary people. One way would be to take the books written
about basic applications and rewrite those for J. And in the process not
do what people very often do, just write the solution which in the case
J would probably end up in one line of J doing what basic needs 1000.
Every other of those 1000 basic lines would need some text and then
you end up with a book. In the case of the J you have so few lines to
explain that most people would not even to bother writing them and then
they do not get published. The problems are still out there and the last
ordinary person needing the explanation is still not born. But if the
wanting to solve this simple task comes along and finds nothing but a
book written about the basic solution and no book about J then of course
the basic solution is the one that gets the exposure. And it does not
that there are a few people around laughing behind his back and thinking
how silly this person is picking basic and writing those 1000nds of lines

when J could have done it in just a handful.

And this problem is easy to solve in J. You only need to write the books
solving the simple problems. In Apl you have to begin to explain
that looks like Greek and you lose them before they can try to take the


Sat, 28 Mar 1998 03:00:00 GMT  
 Simple courses in J for simple (ordinary) people

Nelson Asinowski writes:
>Since you are talking about collecting simple (and maybe useful) things
>about the learning processes of J, here is one.  It reads a file and
>finds all lines with that string and displays them.  It does not work
>becuse I dont understand the reshaping of arrays.

>This is my second post on this problem (2 weeks ago) but I did not get a
>response.  Thank you for your help.

Well, this is my second reply! Were you reading comp.lang.apl?

>names =: 'm' fread 'h:\util\phone.dat'
>wd 'pcd wfind;pn "Windows Text Finder";'
>wd 'xywh 26 70 40 10;cc Search button;'
>wd 'xywh 10 10 80 10;cc sstrlab static;cn "Search String";'
>wd 'xywh 10 20 80 12;cc sstr edit ws_border;'

>wd 'csel sstr;cfocus;'
>wd 'pas 20 20; ptop;pcenter;pshow ;'
>wd 'wait;'
>winstat =. wd 'qd;'
>res =: {:"1 [ 3}. winstat

>indofselnames =. bx +./"1 ,>res E."1 names   NB. Problem happens here

As defined, res is boxed. You should use:

  res=. 'sstr' wdg winstat


Sun, 29 Mar 1998 03:00:00 GMT  
 [ 2 post ] 

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