BAA London Meeting 2008-11
- Date: 2008-11-??
- Venue: Edgar Wallace
- The first meeting had no theme and saw small group discussions in corners of the room.
Jake's notes on the meeting held in November 2008
The attendees drifted in over a period of time - our fault (C, J & P) managing to give out 3 different start times for the meeting, but in a way this helped to establish the social atmosphere of the gathering.
Having no rigid agenda, initially we were split into three groups: Ellis and Ray; Paul, Stephen & Phil: and Chris, Mike, Jake, Chris & Dick. This summary is based on some notes Jake took, more detailed minutes by Ellis and my own (imperfect) memory:
Chris, Mike, Jake, Chris & Dick: We started off from dick's original suggestion, to discuss APL software libraries,but we soon were directed onto two other related issues. Mike pointed out a bigger problem that an absence of code libraries or examples was a lack of _concept_ examples. Chris Paul also has an immediate education issue which is relevant His current project has a new graduate developer & when told he was to work with an PAL system, he simply went again "googled" it - a fairly standard reaction from developers in all fields nowadays - but the first material he discovered was an APL Joke, which is hardly going to allow him to write or support APL code. We decided to draw up a list of strategies and tactics we could all use to help achieve the aims of educating newcomers to APL, convincing business to use APL and supporting the existing APL community. Grand ideas and I think they will be much debated, so I've set the lists up in the APL Wiki at BAAEdgarWallace where I think it will be easier to produce a consolidated document, rather than in a google discussion group.
After some time I called us all together for a general meeting at the end. Amongst other topics that of encouraging new people to take up APL came up. My view remains that the business of ensuring the future of APL does not rest with a dozen old and nearly old men in a pub in London, however it is a valid BAA aim and we can help
On helping others to learn APL. I have sent copies of the "learnAPL" poster in the recent Vector to a couple of friends whose children are OT oriented and approaching university age.
- You may not necessarily want to find new APLers from that group of
sad souls who enjoy a Sudoku puzzle, but do you think there would be any interest in an "BAA APL Sudoku open source project"? I would happily donate a bit of my time to this and give the BAA the copyright to my code. May be others would do the same. There is a health warning: my design criteria have changed many times but no code has been thrown away; new features have been added leading to overuse of data fields; there is no real documentation for users or coders; there are no (well very few) functions I would be happy to expose to seasoned APL coders, let alone beginners; ..
We briefly debated the need for a name for our group (APL unplugged or APL rebooted) - Dick rightly said he didn't care what the name was as long as we actually did what we said we would do. With Paul & Stephen present (both BAA committee members) & everyone else being a BAA member we decided that, rather than an informal event organised by Chrisl, Jake & Phil, this was now the London chapter of the British APL Association. While not formally agreeing a timetable of meetings, it was suggested that we use the planned meeting of ex-IP Sharp employees as a Christmas venue, provisionally named "BAA-Humbug". The main purpose I can see of a name is a simple "tag" something we all refer to in such a way that it spreads (via word of mouth or google searches), again to assist in raising our profile.
Ellis & Ray: Ray has a Pocket APL Sudoku workspace that also runs under windows. It is designed with the small pocket display in mind uses the "wand" and no keyboard. Ellis's is written under Dyalog APL 10.1 and seems to run OK under version 12. It runs almost entirely in the session using keyboard input with little need for GUI or mouse. Both of them have tried to write code that follows and evaluates the way a human solves puzzles rather than to optimise a computer solution. Ray then went on to show Ellis his GPS code which has two threads running, the first monitors his GPS devices and issues windows events based on the readings, the second catches these events and interprets them on maps and other displays for the user.
Ellis also spoke to Stephen about the difficulty he has have in entering APL characters into the AplWiki editor direct from the keyboard. Stephen was able to demonstrate one possible cause for my difficulty and Ellis is now seeking a solution in the DyalogUsers group.
For any errors in this document, my apologies in advance. Can everyone have a look at the strategies and tactics lists on the Wiki & feel free to add to or amend the list if you remember something I've forgotten. I'm aware that I said I'd get this out & it's Tuesday already. Chris
Stephen Taylor writes Phil & Paul spent some time looking at techniques I developed for a new internal system at Dyalog, written from scratch in Dyalog 12 Unicode. Some features:
–all persistent data held in an SQL Server database, even enumerators; most tables have single, sequential numeric keys; enumerators also have a Name column
–all source code SALted and assembled in the ws when the application starts; the appn can also be run from a ws saved after 'assembling' it from the scripts
GUI WRITTEN ENTIRELY USING NEW:
–a SmartForm class that adds layout tools to the native Dyalog GUI Form object
–a group of classes that extend other native GUI controls: SmartEdit, SmartCombo, etc all support Caption, Align, Value and Missing properties; these controls all manage their own labels, which move, dim or hide with the control
–an AnchoredCombo class, that relates a SmartCombo to a database table: unless Missing is true, Value is always a member of the table key, Text the corresponding Name
–an AnchoredForm class with methods such as Load, Serialise and Edit to handle editing a row from main data tables
–a group of 'business object' classes derived from AnchoredForm to edit specific tables, eg Company, Contract, Licence%
Also see BAAEdgarWallace which gives another point of view on the meeting.