Sharp APL vs IBM APL ?????? 
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 Sharp APL vs IBM APL ??????

Does anyone know the difference between Sharps APL and IBM's APL?

Sun, 23 Nov 1997 03:00:00 GMT  
 Sharp APL vs IBM APL ??????


> Does anyone know the difference between Sharps APL and IBM's APL?

APL has most of the same facilities, conceptually, and a few extra goodies of
its own (packages, component file system, ...). The Auxiliary Processor
facilities differ in detail except for the 3270 screen management code, which
is pretty much plug compatible.

The core APL differences come down to ancillary issues like how quadNA is
implemented, the presence of component files (apl vars stored directly in
files in native format) and packages (a file-storable object-format collection
of miscellaneous vars and functions, great for building paging files) and one
real biggie: a fundamental difference in the treatment of enclosed arrays
known as "axiom system".  Depending on one's approach to use of enclosed
arrays in one's code, the distinction can be no big deal or quite pervasive in
its effects. I don't think they're much problem to move between for a
programmer experienced with either environment, but there is no hope at all
of transferring any but the most vanilla raw-APL no-enclosed-arrays code
between the two environments without programmer intervention. There are tools
for conversion but like all such things they need to be babysat by someone who
can tweak the code to function intelligently (not just survive) in the other

Most other implementations have followed APL2's lead with respect to axiom
system - aside from any intellectual arguments for either position, their
installations outnumber ours by a very wide margin and I can't fault the other
vendors for seeking compatibility with them (in some cases, at the cost of
converting all user code from the other axiom system, which is a royal pain!)
despite the historical precedence of the approach we favor. APL2 is not
exactly APL, from a nit-picking interpreter-theoretical point of view - but
that doesn't matter much in the real world.

What host environment(s) are you interested in?  SAPL presently supports MVS
mainframe, Unix (Solaris and AIX/6000) and (via APLI, a compatible product
from allied vendor and former SAPL development manager Eric Iverson - Iverson
Software Inc, or ISI, which also makes J) DOS, Windows, and OS/2 (via Win-OS2)

By and large, SAPL is oriented toward multi-user big-system use, and APL2
lends itself more to single-user things. The key distinction here is that SAPL
supplies a complete, integrated terminal timesharing environment and APL2
relies on e.g. TSO for terminal management  - so it's a language processor
invoked by TSO users, while SAPL is a complete environment which can be open
or closed depending on one's choice of system components and coding

Please contact us for additional info. Soliton Associates is the present
vendor of SHARP APL and is basically the same group that supported it at I.P.
Sharp before we became an independent company (a few years after I.P. Sharp
was acquired by Reuters - we've been independent since April 93, after being
in the SHARP APL business pretty much since the invention of APL in the late
60's/early 70's.
Gary Dennis
Regional Support Supervisor (North America)
Soliton Associates Ltd - Toronto, Rochester, New York,
Coventry UK, Amsterdam
Voice: (716) 256-6466 Fax: (716) 256-6469

Wed, 03 Dec 1997 03:00:00 GMT  
 [ 2 post ] 

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