Ten Good Things About APL
The purpose of this document is to outline some of the reasons that APL thrives more than forty years after its origination - both as a notational tool and as a vehicle for computer programming.
- The right-to-left execution rule (and the left-to-right reading rule).
- The multiple and arbitrary conventions of mathematics are replaced by a single consistent and extensible rule.
- APL is ubiquitous.
- There are implementations of APL available on hardware ranging from the mobile phone through to the corporate mainframe.
- Multiple vendors.
- The APL programmer is not dependent on a single supplier, many applications written in APL have been easily ported across different versions of the language.
- APL has been around a long time, because it works. This also means that there are APL developers and development teams with considerable experience and real-world maturity and applications with decades of continuous use and continued development.
- This is a multidimensional world.
- APL is intrinsically multi-dimensional, making the mapping between reality and program code more direct.
- APL coexists with other technology.
- Applications written in APL make use of data generated by other development tools, APL reacts to the outside world - from the paper tape to the Net.
- Freedom from pseudo-English.
- Because APL is a symbolic notation it surmounts language barriers - the Norwegian APL programmer can read the Japanese programmer's code directly.
- Conciseness aids on-demand development.
- In a world of rapidly-changing requirements it is vital to create and amend code concurrently. APL is not verbose.
- Broad spectrum of applicability.
- APL has been used for everything from exploring mathematical physics to programming payroll applications.
- People like APL.
- Which is the ultimate strength - it may not be for everyone, but for the people who relate it becomes almost an addiction.
Note - The original version of this page can be found at http://www.dogon.myzen.co.uk/APL/Misc/tengood.html. The version here may have changed out of all recognition as other people have added their worldviews.
And some more good things...
Here are some more suggestions for what's special about APL which aren't in Dick's original list of 10...
- 11 . APL is interactive
- As APL programmers this seems so obvious that it's easy to overlook, but getting instant answers encourages you to experiment. If you have to spend any time programming in Java or C#, you quickly tire of the edit-compile-link cycle.
- Although you might not want to keep source code in a workspace for large applications, the option to keep code and test data together in a convenient place can be very useful for rapid prototyping.
Page Created by DickBowman