apl/windows [Longish & Rambling!] 
Author Message
 apl/windows [Longish & Rambling!]


> ... he was referring specifically to the APL programming language as
> most of us know it ...

> Really? What about the differences between
>         IBM's APL
>         APL*Plus
>         Dyalog APL

Oh John! You forgot to mention that the differences between APLSV, VS/APL
and APL2 are at least as big as those between the different vendors'
products. This also goes for the different "generations" of the
STSC/Mangustics/APL2000/whatever product. As for the Dyalog range, merely
changing #ML "changes" the language significantly ;-)

> Which of these is the "real" APL "as most of us know it"? Admittedly
> these very different implementations have a greater similarity to each
> other than they do to the other languages that were mentioned, but how
> would you call one of them "APL" and not the others?

The "real" APL? Why, I'd say they are all supersets of the "real" APL!
To be frank, I don't think J, Nial, etc are. I suspect the original
poster was looking for a "real" or "standard" APL. Perhaps he should
have phrased his question more carefully? Difficult to answer if you
don't know where he is coming from... More about this later.

> Perhaps we should look at "human" language. There are languages spoken
> across the world that are derived from English, that are called
> "English", yet they are clearly different from the English spoken in
> England. Shouldn't we call them something else?

Yes, let's. As you know, I speak "South African" English. Yet I can,
without too much trouble, converse with "USA" English speakers (who have
their own regional variants) as well as the "real" English speakers (let's
not discuss the Scots, Welsh, Irish, etc who might cause problems).
*HOWEVER*, if I was a native (say) Swahili speaker and had just battled
my way through "Programming in English" and posted to comp.lang.eng for
a free copy of English for (shudder)Windows(yech), I *probably* would
not want "English as she is spoke in Papua New Guinea", but "English
(more or less) as spoken by HMQEIIR" I can just see the error message:
  Yo' sentaance structcha, she am all {*filter*} up.

Let's be honest, stepping from APL2 to Dyalog APL to APL*Plus is relatively
easy compared to leaping to J (or Nial, or...)

NOTE: I am not trying to make any value judgements for or against any of
these languages, merely saying that the differences between some are greater
than between others... Hell John, you know that I've been battling with
J for ages without really getting comfortable with it. At some time you
must undergo a subtle shift in thought process to program in J. Chris
Burke made this seem easy at APL96, but...

> Yes, maybe it's confusing to lump all the array processing languages
> together under the generic name of APL, but I see no reason to change
> things.

I think it would often be useful to have a term to describe those APLs
which I think of as siblings in the APL family (mainly those that use
the beloved character set, but including APL/II which doesn't) as
opossed to the cousins (and further removed relations) J, Nial, A/A+,
K, etc. After all, if I wanted to stretch a point, modern awk can do
array based calculations, as can ksh93, What about C++ with some
maths libraries? Where does one draw the line?

When I started this, it seemed much easier. I seem to have rambled a
bit... It's now 0330 on new year's day. Happy 1997 everyone.

Bob Hoekstra
Voice:  +44 (0)1483 771028
WWW:    www.khamsin.demon.co.uk

Sun, 20 Jun 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 [ 1 post ] 

 Relevant Pages 

1. installing apl & apl terminals under unix

2. APL Mailing List & comp.lang.apl

3. Shareware APL, APL FAQ, J for Windows

4. I-APL, Vanguard APL, and APL.68000

5. Z80 Fossils and rambling notions

6. Small Methods - a ramble

7. gc ramble

8. "Programming is FUN again" rambling commentary

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10. Various SpecTcl ramblings and rumblings

11. Data Corruption in Clipper & Windows 2000

12. Clipper & R&R for Windows


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