Updating APL and Killer Apps 
Author Message
 Updating APL and Killer Apps

   I recently acquired a copy of Norman Thomson's 'APL Programs for the
Mathematics Classroom'. Appendix 1 touches on what I always felt was a
ragged edge of APL, the user interface was never finished.
The {QUAD} and {QUOTE QUAD} handle alphameric, but
'APL itself contains no graphics primitives...'

Somewhat understandable since a 2741 with an APL typeball isn't a hires
display. But scanners, video cameras, and hires displays are common now. It's
time to modernize the user interface; define or select the icons for a set of
graphics primitives. Along with a definition of the associated function.
Specify the interface from APL's side, and the details are left to the
implementation on a particular host. POOF! Instant portability of the
visual display.

   Perhaps define 'normalized' display dimensions for APL?

   Plot a point could be a dot centered in a {QUAD}, following the useage of
{QUAD} and {QUOTE QUAD}. {JOT QUAD} already exists and is a possible
candidate for the symbol.
Even get a point (or line, or frame) from an input device such as a scanner,
camera, or Super-Kamiokande (what's left of it). A 'reversible' function.

   Checkerboard in a {QUAD} or Venetian blinds in a {QUAD} for get or plot
an array, or raster, grab or paint a frame to/from a video device.
A rank 3 array would be animation or a video sequence.
A rank 4 array would be a 3D animation or video sequence.

   Possibly a new way to transfer data among APL's?
'Hey Charlie, look at this new protein structure. Best thing since Vegemite.'
'Killer mate. Run the animation again and let me capture a few dozen frames
with my camera. I'll load it into my APL/3D and see if fits with Hepatitus C's
protein coat.'

Seems like a good way to evolve to better input devices than a keyboard.
After all HAL started somewhere. Visual input/sensing for computer could
be a 'killer app' for APL. At one time it seemed APL and C were competeing
to become the most popular language. Unfortunately C won. How well would
C fare handling video?

   I was prompted to post since I've been playing with APL generated
animation on the fly. Nothing fancy; animated polygons, scaling, rotation,
translation. Open a window, erase to background color (black), calculate and
plot a frame of polygons, erase to background color..., lather, rinse,
repeat. This is all preparatory to 3D animation. (Real 3D, not the typical
marketing lie... err, hype). I want to try the 'cross-eyed' method of 3D.
Typically this was presented in books with two parallax images side by side.
Hold about a foot in front of your nose, cross your eyes (left eye to right
picture & vise versa), fuse the images, and focus your eyes.
POP! 3D in your face. Takes a little practice.

My particular APL implementation is a bit too clunky in the interface to
the OS for real high performance video. I have LCD shutter glasses I use
with BlitzBasic for 3D video that works well. I'm thinking of perhaps
an AP to pass the final data from APL to Blitz for display.

   On a sour note, my copy of 'APL Programs for the Mathematics Classroom'
has a bindery problem. Pages are missing, being replaced with second
copies of other pages. A call to Springer-Verlag was fruitless; it's out
of print. A search doesn't show one in the NYC public library.
A university in upstate NY had a copy, and after much persuading I was
able to get the local library to do an inter-library loan. So I at least
have the missing information, even if it isn't in book format. Anyone
know where I might be able to obtain a cheap copy of an intact book?

--



Thu, 29 Dec 2005 07:05:10 GMT  
 Updating APL and Killer Apps

Quote:
>    On a sour note, my copy of 'APL Programs for the Mathematics Classroom'
> has a bindery problem. Pages are missing, being replaced with second
> copies of other pages. A call to Springer-Verlag was fruitless; it's out
> of print. A search doesn't show one in the NYC public library.
> A university in upstate NY had a copy, and after much persuading I was
> able to get the local library to do an inter-library loan. So I at least
> have the missing information, even if it isn't in book format. Anyone
> know where I might be able to obtain a cheap copy of an intact book?

> --


Try ABE Books. Used book database.

Dick Kistler



Wed, 01 Feb 2006 19:36:33 GMT  
 
 [ 2 post ] 

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