On APL's History

On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the APL workspace 1 CLEANSPACE

German Guide Share Europe Working Group, APL Germany and IBM Germany

November 27-29, 2016 IBM Böblingen, Germany


A Personal History of APL by Jim Brown

The following is the full paper submitted to the conference. The first section "The Early Years" was presented at the conference on Monday and is scheduled to be published in the APL Journalin 2017. The second part "Vignettes and Anecdotes" was presented on Sunday evening and is only available here. Download my "Personal History of APL" the original text.

My intention is to update my personal history as I learn more things. On February 21, 2017 I gave a presentation to the APL Bay Area Users Group (APLBUG) at San Jose State in San Jose, California. Larry Breed was at this meeting and gave me some corrections and new information which I have included in an updated version of the paper and which is only available here: Download my "Personal History of APL" the updated text.

At the Böblingen conference on Sunday evening, I invited people to sign my shirt. Here are pictures of that shirt: Download pictures of my shirt

The Song "APL Blossom Time"


The song "APL Blossom Time" was written in 1981 by Mike Montalbano using the pseudonym J.C.L Guest. The lyrics are a very accurate representation of the early years of APL.


There are two videos available regarding the song.

The audio for the first video was recorded at my home in San Jose. The video contains pictures of some of the early contributors to APL.

The audio for the second video was recorded at the APL81 conference dinner by Bob Armstrong who was sitting in the audience.

My introduction is difficult to understand but the video contains the text.

The song is sung by me, Larry Breed, John Bunda, Diana Dloughy, Al O'Hara , Rob Skinner and the 1100 attendees of the conference.

The video contains the full text of the song. This text is also available as a PDF document.



Dr. James A. Brown



OnAPLsHistory (last edited 2017-04-05 20:00:17 by JimBrown)