Bill Gunshannon bill.gunshannon at hotmail.com
Fri Jan 29 08:32:08 CST 2021

On 1/29/21 7:27 AM, Gavin Scott via cctalk wrote:
> On Fri, Jan 29, 2021 at 6:11 AM Peter Corlett via cctalk
> <cctalk at classiccmp.org> wrote:
>> Secondly, beyond BODMAS, the meaning and precedence of random symbols is
>> unclear to casual readers.
> An issue that plagues other operator-rich languages, but not APL since
> APL follows a strict right-to-left evaluation order for ALL operators
> (no BODMAS in sight). You can use parentheses to affect it, but it's
> not as hard to figure out a complex APL expression as one might
> naively expect at first glance.
> The symbols did greatly limit the growth of APL in its early years
> just because it made the cost of entry higher so not as many people
> were exposed to it, and it also suffered the related "small
> proprietary language" issue that has plagued pretty much every
> language whose developers tried to get rich off the language itself.

Curiously, in the very early 80's, it was the language of choice for
teaching computers at Marist College.  My understanding of the symbols
was that they are quite explanatory to a mathematician.  While I don't
have them in my head as most of the APL's I used worked on ASCII
terminals using Di-graphs and Tri-graphs, I can still understand and
even write APL.  It's fun to play with every once in a while.


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