Boxes 1, Enclosures 0 
Author Message
 Boxes 1, Enclosures 0


In the interest of global bandwidth conservation I constantly rein in my
impulses to correct faulty thinking.  Alas some remarks
are, as Wolfgang Pauli once remarked -- "not even wrong."
Recently USER wrote (come on guys use real names junk
email isn't that bad)

>If this is about diffrences between "nested" and "boxed" arrays, I am
>very glad that they did this.  Boxed stuff is for fun.  Nested stuff
>for a real work.  This is what divides APL and J users.  I never
>could understand why such entity as a "boxed array" is needed?  It,
>probably, makes J "cleaner", but for the real life the nested arrays are
>much more appropriate.  This is my private opinion.  Please don't kill

I couldn't agree LESS!  For the last few months I have been in deep
APL2 mode.  For me, programming in APL2, after years of enjoying
J, is like returning to the "DEL" editor after getting used to full screen.
I find the same things annoying me over and over again.  Right at the
top of my list is the APL2 enclose function that seems to think
that when you enclose a scalar you should get another scalar.  It's
amazing how often you have to "consider" this special case.
When you find yourself writing a lot of edge condition code it's
a clear sign that the primitives are not properly designed.

As for those features of J that I miss the most:
I find myself yearning for the rank conjunction/operator.
A lot of twisted EACH applications would disappear with a rank operator.
Next on my list is the J cut conjunction.  J cuts are like nuclear weapons
compared to APL2 partition function firecrackers.

I could go on, and on, and on but that's not the point. I have found
that APL2 enclosed arrays are not more appropriate to real life programming
problems and infact introduce tiresome complications that you
never encounter with the boxed model and like bad TV do not
miss when they are absent.

John D. Baker
J'ugglar at large

Sun, 26 Dec 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 [ 1 post ] 

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