Summary of responses--APL for the Mac. (longish--248 lines) 
Author Message
 Summary of responses--APL for the Mac. (longish--248 lines)

After being deluged with requests for info, and after sending out copies on
three or four separate mailings, all of which had full to: and cc: fields,
and after a suggestion that I really ought to post my findings, I am finally
doing so.  The bounce messages I keep getting from various intermediate
sites finally convinced me that this was the way to go.

Thanks again to everyone who gave info; sorry about the delay to anyone who
wanted the summary.

Here are the replies to my question about Apl interpreters for the Mac:

=====(Summary follows)=========================================================

There are at least three apl interpreters for the mac. The first one is
mac apl, which has the nicest interface. It is slow, but generally very
well done (by Michael O'Conner, of CIS-Navigator fame). There is a demo-

The more professional systems are APL-68000 by Micro-Apl (available at the
moment for a mere $ 99 from Spencer Organization). This is fast (entirely
written in assembler), although not blindingly fast (it does not use the
68020 and the 68881). Documentation is reasonable, although some of the
Mac features (terminal emulation) do not work, and the toolbox interface
is far from easy to use. (by the way, in Mac-APL you can also use the
Toolbox routines, by calling their traps in assembler, but this is a major
pain). Finally there is STSC-APL, with which I have no experience, but this
is probably a straightforward port from the PC. Hope this helps.
Jan de Leeuw


There are four known systems, two are recommended.

        (1) STSC APL*Plus, $???.
        (2) APL.68000, from Spencer Organization, $99.
        (3) MacAPL, Leptonic Systems ?
        (4) MacAPL, New Zealand

STSC is more fully developed, I think.
APL.68000 is faster, written in assembly language (Van Cleve)
Leptonic Systems has gone belly up.  Too bad.  It had nice features.
MacAPL from NZ is free to UNIX license holders, Probably derived
from Bruner & Reeves APL.

Both (1) and (2) include APL terminal emulators.


Subject: Old info on Mac APL interpreters


  Apologies for the age of the article below, but perhaps it will give
you a place to start if you don't receive more current information from
your other correspondents ...


   Aron Roberts  Tolman Microcomputer Facility
                 1535 Tolman Hall, University of California
                 Berkeley, CA 94720  (415) 642-2251


Article 193 of comp.sys.mac:
Path: jade!ucbcad!ames!sri-spam!rutgers!clyde!watmath!watnot!water!ljdickey
Thanks, everyone, for all the info I received on APL for the Mac!

If anyone wants a copy of the summary, please mail me, and I will forward

Subject: Re: APL for the Mac
Date: 24 Nov 86 19:06:26 GMT
Organization: U of Waterloo, Ontario

I know of three APL's for the Mac:

        APL 90

The first two are about $395 each, and the other is shareware.

The most mature, APL.68000, may be obtained from from

        Spencer Organization, Inc.
        366 Kinderkamack Road
        P.O. Box 248
        Westwood, New Jersey 07675

or from

        Micro APL Limited,
        Unit 1F, Nine Elms Industrial Estate
        87 Kirtling Street
        London  SW8 5BP

This APL has been around for quite a while, and is relatively
bug free in the core code.  I have not tried the Mac version
but other versions of APL.68000 are quite robust.

The second, APL*Plus, is based on what was previously called PortaAPL,
and comes from

        STSC, Inc
        2115 East Jefferson Street
        Rockville, MD 20852

STSC has been in the APL business for 17 years, has a successful APL
product for the PC, and claim that this new release is fully compatible
with that and its mainframe products.

The third, APL 90, comes from

        Jean-Jacques Girardot
        Ecole Nationale Superieure des Mines
        St. Etienne, France

or from

        Fred Gross
        New Products Editor
        1100 Richards Ave.
        Santa Fe, New Mexico

The main problem with this release of APL 90 for North Americans is
that it uses the French keyboard layout.
Fred wants you to send two floppies and the cost of postage
before he sends you his latest copy of APL 90.

There are reviews in the latest (Dec., 86) and forthcoming (Mar. 87)
issues of APL Quote Quad.


You can try:
        STSC APL*Plus
        MicroAPL from The Spencer Orginization

MicroAPL is small and fast and runs on a MAC II or SE.  I do not think
that the STSC APL has NOT been upgraded yet to run on those machines.

There is a third commerical one that was floating around, but I have lost the
reference and I only saw a demo copy.



This last article came in after I posted my summary announcement:

The APL Quote-Quad gave a nearly glowing review of APL.68000
(March 1987 issue); the major subject of complaint was a non-
standard file system.  I have also heard that it is written in
assembler (so is four times faster than STSC APL*PLUS for the
Mac), has been around since the early days of the 68000 (so
the APL language implementation is certainly robust), and is
more Mac-ish than STSC's.  It also used to cost $300!  But
since I have never used it, I can't tell you if any of the
above is valid or not.  You also should be wary of buying an
orphan product (I have no idea whether this is one; see below).

I have STSC's APL*PLUS, and generally I'm happy with it.  It
used to be PortaAPL and is written in C.  When I bought it
(I got a great deal; list price is $400) I thought I was
getting a product with a future; after I talked to some
STSC folks, however, I changed my mind.  I probably bought
an orphan after all.  The author of the program is no longer
interested in enhancing it (I was told) to make it more Mac-ish
(it is not very; although it has a bunch of low level Mac stuff
built-in, since the distribution is small nobody I know of has
built any high level tools on top of it).  It is NOT Mac II
compatible, and my guess is that it won't be until enough
people buy it.  (A nearly Mac II compatible version was
reputed to be near completion many months ago, but they
have no plans at present to release an update.  Hmm.)
It is, however, compatible with STSC's other APLs, and works
fine.  If anyone (STSC in particular) would like to challenge
my interpretation of the situation, please do!

I also looked at the shareware MacAPL archived at INFO-MAC.
First, IT IS NOT FREE.  The shareware fee is $100 or so.
Second, I can't imaging anyone having paid that fee, so the
amount is academic.  APL is a programming language (:-), and
no crippled subset of it should be called APL!  MacAPL lacks
some of the basic primitives, so is in my opinion useless.
It also bombs a lot and the demo does not save workspaces.
In its defense, I would like to say that MacAPL has a lot
of NEAT IDEAS, such as multiple windows/workspaces, icons and
graphics.  Maybe the author of MacAPL can sell his ideas
to STSC....  Definitely check it out for the interesting ideas,
but I don't think it is useable.

Lastly, there is an implementation of an extension of APL
from France, called APL90 (91?).  From what I read in the
APL Conference Proceedings, it is totally new and very
interesting.  Which unfortunately makes it more a curiosity
than anything else.  I haven't seen it; it can be obtained
by sending two 3-1/2" diskettes and stamped, addressed mailer
to Fred Gross, APL Quote-Quad New Products Editor,
1100 Richards Ave., Santa Fe, New Mexico 87505.

So, it seems that Spencer Organization's $99 deal for
APL.68000 is a bargain.  If I don't have an APL already
I would buy it -- provided I can be sure that the product
will continue to be supported.  At the current rate of
Mac evolution, a stagnant product will probably not last
even a year.


Hope this helps.

Enjoy, and use in good health,

Leon Marr

Sun, 17 Jan 1993 15:41:00 GMT  
 [ 1 post ] 

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