Dialects in comp.lang.apl; complaints about APL. 
Author Message
 Dialects in comp.lang.apl; complaints about APL.

Gosi writes:
> >> One of the biggest obstacles was that in the early days of APL
> >> there were no error trappings and when APL systems failed they
> >> failed badly with all kind of greek characters on the screen.
> >> It was bad for the user because the application stopped.
> >> It was bad for the developer because the bad coding showed.

One of the predecessors of an application which we currently
support was like this: an error occurs, the "greek" stuff comes up;
the customer calls support; the line of greek is dictated over
the phone; a fix is dictated back, integrated into the system,
and the user is back up and running.  This was considered a plus:
APL systems are much more maintainable in the field.

I can imagine, and I see all the time the result of bad compiled
language coding. Pick any beta version of Netscape. One will
eventually run into a GPF, from which you can only restart.

> >> We got a lot of bad publicity because of this.
> >Why is this news to me?
> Have not got a clue.
> Maybe you have been lucky.
> Maybe you have only met people who have not seen or heard of
> bad APL systems.

I have seen and heard of bad APL systems. Like I said below:

> > The only mention of bad publicity I've
> > EVER seen is one of the following:
> >   1. Code runs too slow/takes over the machine;
> Well written APL code does not run slow.

Unfortunately, "well written" is circularly defined here.

> Mistakes and badly written systems do.
> APL code is so compact and some people who do not know what
> they are doing can easily take over the machine.

Today, of course, this is not such a problem, compared to mainframe

> It happened to me several time when I was starting out
> writing APL.

Are you missing the point? These are complaints I've heard about
APL. I did NOT say that they had any foundation.  I KNOW that
"well written APL code does not run slow"

> >   2. Those characters are impossible to read/write-only code.
> They are only impossible to read/write for those who give up
> on APL. For those who cross the barrier they are a hell of a
> lot easier to read than the Von Neuman languages.

Again, you are not telling me anything I don't already

> > Could you perhaps point me to this "bad publicity"
> Read your lines marked 1. and 2.

Is that all?  I would hope that you realized that I've seen those
complaints before, otherwise how could I have reported them?  I
assumed when you said "bad publicity because of this" you were not
referring to the readability/performance issues, because you made no
mention of them.

In any case, rather than dwell on the past, with problems that
were solved in the 70's, perhaps a discussion of the _current_
complaints about APL would be more useful.  This discussion
should establish that the complaints are not the "old" ones,
which of course have been solved, and should be promoted as
such. If we have to defend a non-existent language as though
it was still with us, what's the point?

Maybe ws should be saying, a la Ford:

   Have you written in APL lately?

|\/| Randy A MacDonald       |"You just ASK them?"

     BSc(Math) UNBF '83      | APL: If you can say it, it's done.

                             | Also http://www.*-*-*.com/
------------------------------------------------<-NTP>----{ gnat }-

Wed, 09 Sep 1998 03:00:00 GMT  
 [ 1 post ] 

 Relevant Pages 

1. net.lang.apl is being renamed comp.lang.apl

2. Dialect in comp.lang.apl

3. Dialects in comp.lang.apl

4. APL Mailing List & comp.lang.apl

5. APL Vendors on Comp.Lang.APL

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