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Originally published in Queue vol. 11, no. 1
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Greg Jaxon | Thu, 07 Mar 2013 18:53:41 UTC

"Programs that were written in a more reasonable style and without ridiculous schedules imposed from above maintain their freshness longer."

Pre-1995 code was developed by cadres of "early adopters" of Comp. Sci.; It tends to be more "reasoned" (calling that "style" seems slanderous). Code production methodologies with a few exceptions (e.g. NASA & military) were certainly more relaxed - there were few "mass market deliverables". A lot of code from that era has aged remarkably well, and rumors of its expiration date are exaggerated. Rather than a "Best By" date, I suggest a pedigree mark, e.g., "GNU Binutils - perfect since 1981".

Beau Webber | Thu, 07 Mar 2013 18:44:52 UTC

The real power of the Apl symbols lies in the parsing - not not the computer parsing, but what goes on in one's head. Because there is one symbol per concept, there is no problem in building a complex expression in ones head, and then mentally executing it. A whole level of parsing needed with other languages is just not present. And no, Apl is not dead, the core is unchanged over decades, but it has evolves into a powerful multi-tasking Object Oriented platform with hooks to .net, regular expression parsers, has GUI creation facilities, and talks to FPGAs. I am currently re-visiting and extending its capabilities to be compiled to reside in multi-processor systems and soft processors on FPGAs. http://www.microapl.co.uk/APL/ http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/379199.379200 http://archive.vector.org.uk/art10011790 http://www.element14.com/community/groups/fpga-group/blog/2012/04/28/fpga-modular-firmware-skeleton-for-multiple-instruments--morph-ic-ii-youtube-videos http://www.lab-tools.com/software/Compiling_Apl_for_MultiProcessors/

Tim | Sat, 02 Feb 2013 04:10:00 UTC

To be fair, the previous behaviour of / in Python was problematic as well, since two different operations (integer and real division) were represented by the same operator. This is a real problem in a language that encourages you to write polymorphic "duck-typed" code where you don't convert the type of your arguments: you would usually expect 2 / 3 == 2.0 / 3.

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