Why Visual APL?

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Why Visual APL?

Postby Ajay Askoolum » June 11th, 2009, 5:21 pm

The attached PDF contains an account of some of my experiences with Visual APL.
APL The next generation.pdf
Presented at BAAPLA09 Conference, Reading, United Kingdom on June 9, 2009.
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Ajay Askoolum
Posts: 851
Joined: February 22nd, 2007, 2:16 am
Location: United Kingdom

Postby Richard.Hill » June 13th, 2009, 11:49 pm

Ajay, Thanks for posting the presentation. I would have liked to have been there, but London, UK is a long way from Melbourne, AU. Would it be big ask for you to give us some idea of the reception to your talk? What were the key questions asked? What were your replies? (BTW I have yr book. Its been useful.)
Richard Hill
Posts: 82
Joined: March 8th, 2007, 12:51 am
Location: Melbourne, Vic, Australia

Postby Ajay Askoolum » June 14th, 2009, 2:56 am

Hi Richard,

The writeup that I posted contains more material than I could accommodate in a 45 minutes presentatiion. So from the point of view of comprehensiveness, the paper is better than my presentation (I think). I would recommend that you also have a look at
and at
which I circulated to delegates at the conference.

One comment that left me baffled was 'This is the first time I have seen Visual APL, I now know what it looks like'. I was baffled because APL2000 had a series of webcasts on Visual APL (all still available at the site): somehow, a lot of people remained unaware.

The question that was asked several times was about Visual APL function signatures (relates to APL 'valence'); this tied into issues relating to data types. Visual APL copes with strong data types like C#, derived data types (types derived from strong types) and losely typed data. This topic is a little opaque to read about; however, it becomes quite clear if you start using Visual APL.

Another comment that left me lost for words was how readily some of the people I spoke to liked the idea of an APL that does not have workspaces. I expected some resistance but I believe people are now generally aware of the need for APL to be transparent rather than a black box.

Have you used the trial/evaluation version of Visual APL? If not, I strongly recommend that you do as it puts a lot of APL issues into perspective. [What did you think of the ...past...present...future... topic in the paper?] If you do, we can share ideas and solve common problems--I am still learning and would like to get with Visual APL where I am with APL+Win.

In general, I felt that the biggest concern for people was the idea of learning Visual Studio. This is natural, perhaps; however, although the expertise does not come overnight, it begins to pay dividends quite quickly. I think seeing Cielo Explorer in Visual Studio and particularly the ability to try out 'random' APL expressions and see the results appear (as in Immediate/interactive mode APL) made Visual Studio much more acceptable to people.

Ajay Askoolum
Posts: 851
Joined: February 22nd, 2007, 2:16 am
Location: United Kingdom

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