Author Message

I downloaded from a SIMTEL20-type archive a version of APL known variously as
"SAPL", SHARP APL/PC, and I.S.APL. This stands for, I think, Iverson/Sharp APL,
for this company enjoys the skill & industry of no less than Kenneth Iverson,
the inventor of APL! This shareware version, which can be registered for $59 US
or $79 Can, has been adapted to run on an IBM-PC with EGA card and PC-DOS, or
equivalent. But to describe what has been accomplished here, "adapted" is too
poor a word, and so I quote from Roland Pesch's release notes to this version:

"Additional notes about shareware SHARP APL/PC:

         0. What is this thing?
         It's a collection of programs centered around an APL interpreter.
The interpreter itself is the very same SHARP APL interpreter that runs
on 370-architecture mainframes; that is, it's written in 370 Assembler,
and the object code included here is actually 370 object code.  It runs
on a PC via a 370 emulator, written by Roger Moore and included in this
shareware package.  The auxiliary programs are written specifically for
the PC, and do things like screen management, native file access, APL
component file support."

         Upon reading this, an idea comes to the mind: The possibility that a
user might upload the 370 object code in binary form to an account on an IBM
mainframe running VM/CMS (provided it is legal for one's personal use to do so)
and actually run APL there! Theoretically it is possible. I am loath to try it
without advice because I don't know how to hook the I/O channels (for screen
display, for mini-disk access, and for UR devices like PRT) into this 370 code.
Would it be done with the CMS FILEDEF command? Or perhaps using fm class 4, the
OS class? Or even SET DOS ON, if it was once run as a DOS 360 "Phase"? I also
don't know how the APL characters would be displayed on a 3270 virtual graf:
Perhaps by doing SET APL ON. But that sounds too simple. Anyone have some ideas
they want to share with us?

         I haven't used this APL much, because though very powerful it requires
one have EGA. At home I just have CGA. But the designers have arranged things
so that you can run it on a Hercules-equipped PC. Again I quote Mr. Pesch:

         "Finally, if you have a Hercules display, you can use Paul
Jackson's 'pjackson.fnt' font definition, loaded with whatever font loader
came with your Hercules or Hercules compatible.  Paul Jackson's font
is his own property and copyright; everything else in this package
is copyrighted by I.P. Sharp Associates.

         I have the ignorance not to know what utility is used to load a font
such as this (which appears to be similar to an IBM PC "codepage") into a
Hercules video driver. If I knew, it wouldn't help me, unless I also knew how
such a font could be made to work with a CGA video driver! Programs like HBASIC
& MSHERC.COM allow CGA output to be displayed on a Hercules monitor. Does some-
one know of any programs that will allow the opposite, Hercules output to be
shown on CGA? If so, let me know.

         This APL accepts lowercase letters as code, but allows uppercase in
literal text. It uses the ALT key with the alphabetic keys to give you the APL
characters. Since the numeric keypad is used for cursor control, you can't get
ASCII/APL characters from it with the ALT key. Doesn't matter, because all the
ones you need are obtainable from the alphabetic keys, w/o SHIFT or ALT.

         A word of warning. I tried to run APL.BAT on a 386 connected under
"Microsoft LAN Manager" to a 3COM Ethernet LAN. This batch file invokes aux-
iliary programs that try to use interrupts taken over by the LAN. The first
of these programs, SVP, causes the system to do a warm boot. The next ones,
DOSX, ACOM, FSCR, won't run without SVP. The next one, SFS, says "INT 96 is in
use" and quits. This leaves EGA14, which loads an APL symbol table, and CP8X,
the emulator which runs the APL module, called "SAPL". These work under the
LAN, and the APL logon message presents itself, waiting for your input. I do
not know what auxiliary services, signified by the unloadable programs, that
you have to dispense with under the LAN. Of course, they all load off the LAN.

Wed, 13 Dec 1995 22:07:13 GMT  
 [ 1 post ] 

 Relevant Pages 

1. Sharp APL/PC reference binders

2. Experiments with I.P. SHARP APL/PC



5. APL FAQ - correction re Sharp APL

6. Sharp APL (Was: questions on early APL

7. Sharp APL vs IBM APL ??????

8. Announcement: Version 4.03 of SHARP APL for UNIX

9. Product announcement - SHARP APL/UNIX 4.02

10. Sharp APL

11. Sharp APL (really SAPL and APL2 arrays)

12. Sharp Packages (was Re: APL acceptance)


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