Learning resources

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"I have long been struck by the contrast between the success with which the adventurous learn APL by simply using it, and the frequent failure of lecture courses to communicate the simplicity and applicability of the language."

Ken Iverson. A Working Introduction to APL, 1981.

To facilitate self-study, the resources here are classified by target audience. However, if you get stuck, don't hesitate to request help in one of the many chat rooms and forums or ask a question on Stack Exchange.

It may be beneficial to learn the APL terminology.

For non-programmers

Some of the best resources for somebody new to APL and programming in general are:




Video series

Follow one or a couple of these tutorials through and play around a bit. To learn APL the advice is similar to that for learning other languages: have a goal (something you want to accomplish) and try to do it. Along the way you are sure to come across the pitfalls and gotchas of the language, and with time you may come to understand what APL thinking means.

For programmers unfamiliar with APL

This is a list of tutorials and other resources of interest to someone who knows about programming or is familiar with another programming language, but wants to learn more about APL. See also APL Wiki's lists of advanced examples, books, and papers. "Trying APL" has examples for all primitives.


Text courses



For novice APLers

Besides for APL Wiki's advanced examples, you can hone your APL skill with these materials.


Video series


For advanced APLers

Here is a list of "how-to"s on various subjects:

Haven't used APL in a while?

Those who learned APL "in the early days" should note that several implementations have made significant extensions to the language and system in the last decade or two.


New primitive functions

New primitive operators

Lambdas (dfns)

Tacit programming

APL development [edit]
Interface SessionTyping glyphs (on Linux) ∙ FontsText editors
Publications IntroductionsLearning resourcesSimple examplesAdvanced examplesMnemonicsISO 8485:1989ISO/IEC 13751:2001A Dictionary of APLCase studiesDocumentation suitesBooksPapersVideosAPL Quote QuadVector journalTerminology (Chinese, German) ∙ Neural networksError trapping with Dyalog APL (in forms)
Sharing code Backwards compatibilityAPLcartAPLTreeAPL-CationDfns workspaceTatinCider
Implementation ResourcesOpen-sourceMagic functionPerformanceAPL hardware
Developers Timeline of corporationsAPL2000DyalogIBMIPSASTSC