Open Source APL: NARS2000
Newcomers to APL want to find out whether it suits them before putting significant expenditure into purchase of a commercially-available APL development environment. As an open-source project NARS2000 offers a no-cost platform for this purpose. Specifically it offers both a modern core-language and an insight into the immediacy of the APL development environment.
It does not, at this time, offer interfaces with real-world data other than native files (SQL databases and so forth) nor with other software (common libraries, .NET, etc.) and does not feature language extensions such as object-orientation. All of these are a part of the commercial APL development environments, some of which are available in low-cost (if not free) forms. What NARS2000 does offer is a fully-fledged, modern and quite stable interpreter.
Note that NARS2000 is available as 32bit as well as 64bit executable.
Of course, as an open-source project, the opportunities are there for the suitably-skilled to enhance and attach all of these features. And indeed to experiment with their own variations on the APL language. Not just the interpreter, things like reference documentation are open for all to contribute. NARS2000 is a very easy and accessible way to gain some experience with APL.
NARS2000 is designed to run under Windows XP or later. You may, however, run it under Linux when Wine is installed.
- It's right now (2010-01) just three files: the EXE, a licence statement and a font.
- It's just 1.8 MB - unzipped.
- No installation required - run the EXE and that's it.
- As of 2012-06 you can however use an installer to unzip the files and bring them to the right place. An uninstaller in available now as well.
- The Download Page
- The NARS2000 Documentation wiki
- Discussion Forum
- NARS2000 Homepage
This is a screenshot of NARS2000 in action. It shows an APL expression to find prime numbers using the Sieve of Eratosthenes: