TLDR: APL is a programming language that uses special symbols to represent functions and operators. It was developed in the 1960s and has influenced other programming languages. It is known for its concise code and has been used in concept modeling, spreadsheets, and computer math packages.
APL (A Programming Language) is a programming language that was developed in the 1960s by Kenneth E. Iverson. It is unique because it uses a large range of special symbols to represent functions and operators. These symbols allow for very concise code, making it possible to write complex algorithms in just a few lines.
The central datatype in APL is the multidimensional array. This means that APL is particularly well-suited for working with arrays of data, such as matrices or vectors. It also has a wide range of built-in functions and operators that can be used to manipulate these arrays.
APL has had a significant impact on the development of other programming languages. It has influenced the development of concept modeling, spreadsheets, functional programming, and computer math packages. It has also inspired the creation of several other programming languages, such as A+ and J.
In terms of its history, APL was first developed by Kenneth E. Iverson in the 1960s. It was initially used for short research reports on computer systems at IBM. Over time, it was implemented on various computer systems and became commercially available. It gained popularity on mainframe timesharing systems in the late 1960s and early 1980s. It was also implemented on microcomputers, although BASIC became the dominant programming language on these systems.
APL has continued to evolve over the years, with new versions and implementations being developed. APL2, developed by IBM in the 1980s, introduced the concept of nested arrays and other new features. Today, there are various implementations of APL, including APLX, Dyalog APL, and GNU APL.
In summary, APL is a programming language that uses special symbols to represent functions and operators. It is known for its concise code and its ability to work with arrays of data. It has had a significant impact on the development of other programming languages and has been used in various fields, such as concept modeling and computer math packages.