Whither APL or wither APL ?? 
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 Whither APL or wither APL ??


> I did not say that one could not do numerical analysis in APL, or that one
> could not gain a great deal of understanding by doing so.  I said that it
> would defeat the pedagogical objectives of a specific course which I took
> and you didn't.

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.  

> > Examples:
> > ...
> All of this is well and good.  But I'm not sure I see your point.

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.  I
could see the point in outlawing the use of {quad-divide} at least until
the students had written their own version if these were part of the

> > And I don't agree that "it would mean writing really bad code ."  In
> > fact, it leads to a good understanding of where loops are fundamental
> > and where they are artifacts of programming languages.
> 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.

> Personally I don't see that as a "chore"--if you understand the algorithms
> then implementing them is not all that difficult in any language.

So you contend that once you understand the principles of some
algorithm, it could be coded, tested and, perhaps, modified as quickly
in FORTRAN as in APL?

> I'm sorry, but "where computers were available or assumed"?  Why would
> they _not_ be "available or assumed?"

Because the instructor might require the use of pencil an paper or, for
that matter an abacus.  Numerical analysis was around before PCs.


Tue, 20 Sep 2005 03:45:26 GMT  
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