APL Programming – APL Language | History of APL | APL Programming Language Examples

APL Programming - APL Language | History of APL | APL Programming Language Examples

APL Programming – APL Language | History of APL | APL Programming Language Examples

APL  Language

APL  is a programming language developed in the 1960s by Kenneth E. Iverson. Its central datatype is the multidimensional array. It uses a large range of special graphics symbols to represent most functions and operators, leading to very concise code. It has been an important influence on the development of concept modeling, spreadsheets, functional programming, and computer math packages. It has also inspired several other programming languages. It is still used today for certain applications.

History of APL

The mathematical notation for manipulating arrays which developed into the APL programming language was developed by Iverson at Harvard University starting in 1957 and published in his A Programming Language in 1962. The preface states its premise

  • APL2

Starting in the early 1980s, IBM APL development, under the leadership of Dr Jim Brown, implemented a new version of the APL language that contained as its primary enhancement the concept of nested arrays, where an array can contain other arrays, as well as new language features which facilitated the integration of nested arrays into program workflow. Ken Iverson, no longer in control of the development of the APL language, left IBM and joined I. P. Sharp Associates, where one of his major contributions was directing the evolution of Sharp APL to be more in accordance with his vision.

Extensions of APL

Various implementations of APL by APLX, Dyalog, et al., include extensions for object-oriented programming, support for,.NET, XML-array conversion primitives, graphing, operating system interfaces, and lambda expressions.


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