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Just to add my tw'pence worth the all the discussions:

[1] Performance is important, but it shouldn't be the #1 focus.
    A well rounded, complete system should be the focus.

[2] IPSA/Reuter management NEVER believed in the PC and this continues
    even in this day and age, otherwise we would have had real SAPLpc
    and SAPLMail a long time ago!

[3] Portability between platforms should not be given such high
    presence. It is true there are large corporations that have
    millions of lines of code on a mainframe, but the poor PC user
    has to suffer from backward compatibility. i.e. Character sets.

[4] APL is more a way of thinking and applying ideas to solve a problem,
    than just programming. I solve problems with APL, and only later
    do a little programming!

[5] One problem I have with J syntax is that there is no easy way of
    remembering the symbol sets. APL has some which provide excellent
    visual clues like ROTATE, FLOOR, CEILING, BRANCH and ASSIGN. Many
    others were completely new to me and therefore I had no previous
    reference points to cloud my mind.

[6] Even though much of our communication is done by electronic means,
    we still must print stuff on paper. This requires WYSIWYG with
    pictures and fancy fonts. Maybe even proportional fonts! The state
    of printing from implementors leaves much to be desired.

[7] Typefaces larger than 15 point should be made illegal for
    documentors of APL/J to use!!!

[8] I still believe that APL/J should be used more as some engine to
    crunch the numbers, and leave the front and back ends to well
    established methods. <LinkJ> was a step in the right direction.
    Currently, we try to be a complete programming environment, without
    all the bells and whistles, and we stretch our resources to a point
    where it impairs the product.
    I like the way J2 keeps Windows and ODBMS separate from J.

[9] My largest array at home is 80 100, while at work it is 30 80 3 180

[10] My references includes a printout of ws:<881 utility> dealing with
    <apl idioms, Boolean shifts/scans/predicates>, plus numerous
    utility functions.

[11] What? Underscored captial letters are still around?

[12] Now that we have postscript and TrueType fonts, displaying APL
    characters shouldn't be a problem. What is a problem is the input
    of these characters. There is some standardisation but it is far
    from complete. e.g. Manu uses ALT while Dyalog uses CTRL for
    starters! The Union keyboard has been around for years and still
    there are differences! We don't seem to be very unified on such
    basic issues.

[14] We have never captialised upon our superiority in the computing
    field, like with SVP or NSVP.

That's enough for now.
...Ray Powell
Victoria, BC, Canada.

---
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Thu, 20 Mar 1997 09:06:56 GMT  
 Discussions
Ray Powell:
: [3] Portability between platforms should not be given such high
:     presence. It is true there are large corporations that have
:     millions of lines of code on a mainframe, but the poor PC user
:     has to suffer from backward compatibility. i.e. Character
:     sets.

I disagree.  Portability between platforms should be given high
presence.  However, historical compatability should be in some sense
depreciated.  [It needs to be present, for some people, but many such
features should be documented as obsolete.]

: [12] Now that we have Postscript and TrueType fonts, displaying APL
:     characters shouldn't be a problem. What is a problem is the input
:     of these characters. There is some standardisation but it is far
:     from complete. e.g. Manu uses ALT while Dyalog uses CTRL for
:     starters! The Union keyboard has been around for years and still
:     there are differences! We don't seem to be very unified on such
:     basic issues.

I tend to prefer using the caps lock key to switch in and out of
generating the APL character set.  

--
Raul D. Miller           n =: p*q             NB. 9<##:##:n [.large prime p, q

                         NB.  public e, n, y
                         x -: n&|&(*&y)^:d 1  NB. 1=(d*e)+.p*&<:q



Fri, 21 Mar 1997 23:08:02 GMT  
 Discussions

Quote:
>Ray Powell:
>: [3] Portability between platforms should not be given such high
>:     presence. It is true there are large corporations that have
>:     millions of lines of code on a mainframe, but the poor PC user
>:     has to suffer from backward compatibility. i.e. Character
>:     sets.

>I disagree.  Portability between platforms should be given high
>presence.  However, historical compatability should be in some sense
>depreciated.  [It needs to be present, for some people, but many such
>features should be documented as obsolete.]

I'm not sure it's so easy to distinguish between the two, platform vs
historical compatibility...  

The important thing is, if I buy a new machine and my old APL vendor isn't
going to support it any time soon (or at a price I can afford), I need to
have a choice.  Right now there are none, and I would be cooked (have been).
I have gone through five or six machines in the last four years.  I started
out with APL*PLUS for the Mac (!) but it got orphaned and wouldn't run on the
Mac II (ouch).  Then I got my nice thesis advisor to buy me Dyalog ($1700)
for a Sparc 1.  Then I graduated and used APL2 on an RS/6000, until that got
sold.  Now I have a Mac Powerbook 180c running APL.68000 II, but on unix I
reach for APL\11 aka APL!, or the old Dyalog _without the APL glyphs_ (it
was for xview).  My main machine is an amazing DEC Alpha but I don't have APL
for it.  (APL*PLUS for Sparc and VAX APL also fit in there somewhere...)

Every time I change system (not voluntarily) the old code becomes useless.
Mostly character set incompatibility; sometimes what was fast in one system
is now terribly slow in another.

Quote:
>: [12] Now that we have Postscript and TrueType fonts, displaying APL
>:     characters shouldn't be a problem. What is a problem is the input
>:     of these characters. There is some standardisation but it is far
>:     from complete. e.g. Manu uses ALT while Dyalog uses CTRL for
>:     starters! The Union keyboard has been around for years and still
>:     there are differences! We don't seem to be very unified on such
>:     basic issues.

>I tend to prefer using the caps lock key to switch in and out of
>generating the APL character set.  

I don't think it's at all necessary to enforce a keyboard standard.  Different
people have different hands (I have right wrist tendenitis from mouse overuse),
different preferences, and physically different keyboards.  What is important
is for it to be _easily_ configurable.  This is possible on the Mac, but nearly
impossible in X windows.  Anyway, I hacked the Mac system font to include APL
and the keymap to include everything.  The caps-lock toggles between normal
and APL but everything can be gotten using the option ("alt") key.

And of course, the character sets are still totally incompatible...




Wed, 26 Mar 1997 02:21:43 GMT  
 
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