Another APL post that hinges on the “special keyboard”!?
Does it really occur to him/her that all the non-English speakers use “special keyboards”?
APL’s downfall is not because its symbols, it is because some draconian company still charges thousands of dollars for a small interpreter. https://www-112.ibm.com/software/howtobuy/buyingtools/paexpress/Express?P0=E1&part_number=D50Z7LL&catalogLocale=en_US&Locale=en_US&country=USA&PT=jsp&CC=USA&VP=&TACTICS=&S_TACT=&S_CMP=&brand=SB07
Tangential, but I believe the most vibrant APL community these days is around Dyalog APL rather than the old IBM one, which is still commercial but not quite that exhorbitantly priced (and as of fairly recently, is free for personal/noncommercial use).
There’s also the smaller J community, which is open source.
There’s a project, Co-dfns, that’s implementing a version of the Dyalog language with parallelism built-in, and it’s released under AGPL v3.
The problem lies behind the reason of, and is reinforced by the fact of, companies charging a fortune for an interpreter.
Non of the implementations are fully compatible. They all decide to include some extensions that supposedly make their own implementation better, which introduces fragmentation. If somebody’s code works on IBM’s interpreter, it will likely cause problem with other implementations, which makes IBM able to charge whatever amount of money they want.
On the other hand, most of the APLers moved on to FORTRAN in the 80’s, for the relatively free compiler and the performance of the compiled machine code from FORTRAN, and the HPC numerical computing communities never looked back to APL.
If you want a historical or “real” APL, there is MVT4APL - a distribution of OS/360-MVT 21.8F, customized for use with APL\360 Version 1 Modification Level 1. “Real” IBM mainframe APL on Windows or Linux.
A+, openAPL and NARS2000 have been available since the 1980s and many other free implementations exist as well.
Well, there is GNU APL, and it has existed for some time.
The APL renaissance is coming. There’s a lot of disparate interest in these languages; it’s only a matter of time before the stars align and we get something akin to the Clojure of APL, in terms of repopularization.
This is an obligatory live coding demo of Conway’s Life in APL.
Part of me is wondering what other languages have gotten a renaissance? Lisp?
I’ve been aware of APL descendants since starting with Project Euler, plenty of J users there!
Lisp had a renaissance in the mid-2000s. I thought Smalltalk was having a renaissance with Seaside and Pharo and so on, but I am not close enough to that community to tell if that really caught a big enough upswell of new users to be called a renaissance. I thought the same thing would happen with Forth with Factor (and other concatenative languages), but that also seems to have died down.
“It is still used in some niches, such as in financial sector, meaning people actually make money using APL” I would really like this to be more specific, sounds interesting.
The A+ Language may still be in use. K and Q are other languages in the APL family that are definitely in use. The latter two are worth a look. They use ASCII. They are proprietary, however.
There’s Kona, an open source implementation of K.