Rumours of death... 
Author Message
 Rumours of death...

Jeff Lomax attempts to write:
..and if it's flame bait, it's also a good op to collect ones thoughts:

> That's fitting.  A dead language and a dead Operating system!

Rumours of APL's death have been quite exxagerated.  It is still the
only language with an annual ACM conference. Every Fortune 500 company
has it in house someplace.  SAP (perhaps you've heard of them, they're
a monster software firm from Germany...) uses an APL-based system to
manage large network configurations.

> APL was the first language I had "formal" training in, and today it's a great
> conversation piece to keep around.
> God is it easy to get laughs showing programmers APL!

Yes it is!  But the laughs might not be the ones you're thinking of.  People
get a laugh from the fact that seemingly complex things can be stated quite
simply.  It's the larnin' laugh.

Perhaps they are nervous laughs, when you type out in five minutes, the solution to
a problem that they just spent a week trying to grind together in C.

Only one conclusion: you show it the wrong way.  For example: Any pinhead language
(a language that can only return single values from functions) can be destroyed by
the simple task of adding up a list of numbers.  In apl it is, as you might
actually know:


In the PHL's you find you have to introduce some sort of counter variable, which
only exists to count from one to ten, as if that task was deserving of a variable.
Oh, I forgot, you also have to have a third variable which counts how big the list
is, since the list itself being pinheaded can't remember that simple fact.

Perhaps you are showing it at the meagre level you have learned it.  Do you
mention that sorting is ONE SYMBOL, that searching is ONE SYMBOL.  I look at the
300 odd pages of Knuth volume 3 and sometimes I LAUGH.

> Nobody I show any APL to can believe anyone would ever want
> to use it, and they don't stop laughing for a long time.

I wouldn't want to use APL if I didn't really care about getting anything
of significance done; if the actual act of typing in program code, with
no regard for any purpose, was my mission in life; if I actually wanted to live down
to those lacks of warranties you see on almost every package of shrink-wrapped

Since you give no reasons for this lack of belief in a reason to use APL, I would
ask you to pass them on, so we could be in on the joke.  

|\/| Randy A MacDonald       |"You just ASK them?"

     BSc(Math) UNBF '83      | APL: If you can say it, it's done.

                             | Also http://www.*-*-*.com/
------------------------------------------------<-NTP>----{ gnat }-

Mon, 14 Sep 1998 03:00:00 GMT  
 Rumours of death...
From those of us in the APL development community, I would like to
extend a warm Thank You to all of you who stick up for us when
these rumours show up.  I feel it's somewhat inappropriate for developer
to respond to these sorts of remarks, but it sure is heart-warming
to see that you're all out there pulling for us.


David Liebtag
IBM APL Products and Services

Tue, 15 Sep 1998 03:00:00 GMT  
 Rumours of death...
 ... And of course, the IBM Internal APL community of users
 stick up for their top level APL2 development team...

 It would be interesting to know about personal prototyping
 achievements from the "laughers" with other tools than APL,
 instead of their sterile rumours...


 Yves-Antoine Emmanuelli (speaking for himself)
 IBM Datamining Paris

Fri, 18 Sep 1998 03:00:00 GMT  
 [ 3 post ] 

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