Whither APL or wither APL ?? 
Author Message
 Whither APL or wither APL ??

Quote:


> > Just what were the "pedagogical objectives" that were better served by
> > using fortran in a Physics course?  I could see it in a FORTRAN
> > programming course but you implied that the object was to learn some
> > numerical analysis.

> > My point is that I don not believe APL in any way hides the concepts of
> > numerical analysis except in three (well really, one) cases:  Solving
> > simultaneous equations, matrix inversion and least squares fitting.

> And we were doing all of those.

A scalar language such as Fortran of C++ could be used for the
first part of the course, to introduce the basic ideas of numerical
analysis.  Then APL could be introduced later on as an easier way
to do things.  

Quote:
> >> If you consider writing Fortan in APL to be good code, be my guest.

> > I definitely don't.  Nor do I think it's a good idea forcing the use of
> > looping simply because the prescribed language can't handle arrays in a
> > reasonable way.

> And I don't see any purpose to be served by letting students think that
> arrays are processed by magic.

This is another topic entirely, and is covered by other
courses.  For example, Computer Science programs generally
include courses on assembly language and computer
architecture to give the students a clear idea of exactly
what is going on inside the machine.  (I suppose that when
quantum computeing really gets going the computer
architecture courses will have a quantum mechanics
prerequisite!)

--- Brian



Fri, 23 Sep 2005 21:32:55 GMT  
 Whither APL or wither APL ??

Quote:

> On Sat, 5 Apr 2003 11:33:45 -0600, Ted Edwards wrote

> > I've worked on a machine where (,C){is}(,A)+(,B) is a single hardware
> > instruction.  What would you do there?

> You worked on a Burroughs B6700?   ;-)

No.  It was the CDC STAR.

Ted



Sat, 24 Sep 2005 01:36:10 GMT  
 Whither APL or wither APL ??

Quote:


>> And I don't see any purpose to be served by letting students think that
>> arrays are processed by magic.

> I've worked on a machine where (,C){is}(,A)+(,B) is a single hardware
> instruction.  What would you do there?

Praise the Lord?

Quote:
> Ted

--
--John
Reply to jclarke at ae tee tee global dot net
(was jclarke at eye bee em dot net)


Sat, 24 Sep 2005 01:43:54 GMT  
 Whither APL or wither APL ??

Quote:



>> > Just what were the "pedagogical objectives" that were better served by
>> > using FORTRAN in a Physics course?  I could see it in a FORTRAN
>> > programming course but you implied that the object was to learn some
>> > numerical analysis.

>> > My point is that I don not believe APL in any way hides the concepts of
>> > numerical analysis except in three (well really, one) cases:  Solving
>> > simultaneous equations, matrix inversion and least squares fitting.

>> And we were doing all of those.

> A scalar language such as Fortran of C++ could be used for the
> first part of the course, to introduce the basic ideas of numerical
> analysis.  Then APL could be introduced later on as an easier way
> to do things.

It could, but two programming languages in a one semester course that is
not intended for CS majors seems a bit much.

- Show quoted text -

Quote:
>> >> If you consider writing Fortan in APL to be good code, be my guest.

>> > I definitely don't.  Nor do I think it's a good idea forcing the use of
>> > looping simply because the prescribed language can't handle arrays in a
>> > reasonable way.

>> And I don't see any purpose to be served by letting students think that
>> arrays are processed by magic.

> This is another topic entirely, and is covered by other
> courses.  For example, Computer Science programs generally
> include courses on assembly language and computer
> architecture to give the students a clear idea of exactly
> what is going on inside the machine.  (I suppose that when
> quantum computeing really gets going the computer
> architecture courses will have a quantum mechanics
> prerequisite!)

But this was not a Computer Science course, it was a course for people who
were going to be working physicists and engineers, and might be the only
exposure they got to such notions.

Of course there was also the little issue of how much of a service you
were doing for people who might very well not have APL available wherever
they end up working the real world.

Quote:
> --- Brian

--
--John
Reply to jclarke at ae tee tee global dot net
(was jclarke at eye bee em dot net)


Sat, 24 Sep 2005 01:46:31 GMT  
 Whither APL or wither APL ??

Quote:

> what is going on inside the machine.  (I suppose that when
> quantum computeing really gets going the computer
> architecture courses will have a quantum mechanics
> prerequisite!)

I doubt it - regrettably.  Ted Sterlling used to say that comp. sci.
should be a graduate course with a prereq of a B.Sc. in applied math.
The mathematical background of the typical comp. sci. grad is really
appalling.

I suspect that when quantum computing really gets going, they'll put in
something like MSN as a prereq.

Ted



Sat, 24 Sep 2005 04:58:10 GMT  
 Whither APL or wither APL ??

Quote:
> > I've worked on a machine where (,C){is}(,A)+(,B) is a single hardware
> > instruction.  What would you do there?

> Praise the Lord?

I used to provide programming support for some chip designers.  One of them
was really into APL and wanted to build an APL interpreter on a chip.  Since
they frequently built one-off designs just to test new silicon technologies,
he could have easily done it without even any special funding.
Unfortunately, he never got around to it.

That would have been terrific!

David Liebtag



Sat, 24 Sep 2005 09:14:51 GMT  
 Whither APL or wither APL ??

Quote:

> I used to provide programming support for some chip designers.  One of them
> was really into APL and wanted to build an APL interpreter on a chip.  Since
> they frequently built one-off designs just to test new silicon technologies,
> he could have easily done it without even any special funding.
> Unfortunately, he never got around to it.

> That would have been terrific!

well, David, it's not an ASIC, but "A Processor Design for APL" by Minter
describes a microprogrammed approach, and I have a vague recollection of
somebody doing half a job with AMD 2900s, but can't find the reference (and
would appreciate any pointers)

I wonder, though, whether these special-purpose designs have anything to offer
in the present climate  --  by the time the design has been debugged, somebody
else has doubled the clock on your average general-purpose processor

all the best   . . .   /phil



Sat, 24 Sep 2005 19:24:31 GMT  
 Whither APL or wither APL ??

Quote:
> I wonder, though, whether these special-purpose designs have anything to
offer
> in the present climate  --  by the time the design has been debugged,
somebody
> else has doubled the clock on your average general-purpose processor

Not surprisingly, in fact, as far as I know, the Java chip failed
miserably...
--
  WildHeart'2k3


Sat, 24 Sep 2005 22:43:09 GMT  
 Adrian Smith's spanned cells idiom challenge

Quote:

> how slow all of these expressions have been on my machine.  I keep wondering
> if I'm running something else that's chewing cycles.

You are.  It called Windoze.

Ted



Sat, 03 Sep 2005 01:00:39 GMT  
 Adrian Smith's spanned cells idiom challenge

Quote:
> > > > took less than a second with APL2 on a 1.3 mhz PC
> > >                                              |
> > > Did you have a bit of a units problem here   |

> I haven't seen a 1.3MHz PC since the days of the 8008.  Perhaps you
> meant GHz?

I don't want to be a jobsworth here (actually I made the same mistake),
but I thought that you meant the difference between mHz (millionth of Hertz)
and
MHz (million Hertz').

1.3 mHz PC...  sometimes I think that I own it.

-Veli-Matti



Sat, 03 Sep 2005 01:34:03 GMT  
 Adrian Smith's spanned cells idiom challenge
Veli-Matti,

Quote:
> I don't want to be a jobsworth here (actually I made the same mistake),
> but I thought that you meant the difference between mHz (millionth of Hertz)
> and MHz (million Hertz').

Um, "mHz" would conventionally denote "milli-Hertz", or a thousandth of a Hertz.  For the conventional abbreviation for micro-Hertz, we'd need the greek letter "mu" in our symbol set.  Annoying that this is the only nonLatin letter in the sequence:

    E(xa)    18
    P(eta)   15
    T(era)   12
    G(iga)    9
    M(ega)    6
    K(ilo)    3

    m(illi)  -3
    {mu}     -6
    n(ano)   -9
    p(ico)  -12
    f(emto) -15
    a(to)   -18

Cheers, Paul



Sat, 03 Sep 2005 03:23:39 GMT  
 Adrian Smith's spanned cells idiom challenge
Perhaps David could compare Ted's favorite, APL2 for OS/2, with APL2 for
Windows.  Who better then David?  Is there a big difference?


Quote:

> > how slow all of these expressions have been on my machine.  I keep
wondering
> > if I'm running something else that's chewing cycles.

> You are.  It called Windoze.

> Ted



Sat, 03 Sep 2005 03:46:17 GMT  
 Adrian Smith's spanned cells idiom challenge
I work at home now-days and don't have access to an OS/2 machine here.  But,
we use the same source code and the same compiler for both Windows and OS/2.
I expect the results would be virtually identical.  On a lightly loaded
single user machine, the operating system should make little or no different
in this kind of operation.

You would see differences if you ran on heavily loaded machines running
several CPU intensive processes.  You would also get differences if multiple
processes and/or threads tried to do Gdi level operations at the same time.

David Liebtag
IBM APL Products and Services



Sat, 03 Sep 2005 04:01:37 GMT  
 Adrian Smith's spanned cells idiom challenge

Quote:

> Um, "mHz" would conventionally denote "milli-Hertz", or a thousandth of a Hertz.  For the conventional abbreviation for micro-Hertz, we'd need the greek letter "mu" in our symbol set.  Annoying that this is the only nonLatin letter in the sequence:

Agreed but u is commonly accepted as a tailless mu.

Ted



Sat, 03 Sep 2005 10:18:17 GMT  
 Adrian Smith's spanned cells idiom challenge
I was about to say that between nano and pico we have "?ngstr?m" (Angstroem)
which is -10. Named after Jonas Anders Angstrom, Sweden; died in 1874. But
then i recalled that it's a distance, not a multiplier. So your computer
speed is around ten (ExaAngstrom Herz)/meter... Oh well, never mind :-).

/ Tomas


Veli-Matti,

Quote:
> I don't want to be a jobsworth here (actually I made the same mistake),
> but I thought that you meant the difference between mHz (millionth of
Hertz)
> and MHz (million Hertz').

Um, "mHz" would conventionally denote "milli-Hertz", or a thousandth of a
Hertz.  For the conventional abbreviation for micro-Hertz, we'd need the
greek letter "mu" in our symbol set.  Annoying that this is the only
nonLatin letter in the sequence:

    E(xa)    18
    P(eta)   15
    T(era)   12
    G(iga)    9
    M(ega)    6
    K(ilo)    3

    m(illi)  -3
    {mu}     -6
    n(ano)   -9
    p(ico)  -12
    f(emto) -15
    a(to)   -18

Cheers, Paul



Sat, 03 Sep 2005 15:53:19 GMT  
 
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