Aviva Directory » Computers & Internet » Programming » APL

APL (A Programming Language) is a programming language developed by Kenneth E. Iverson in the late 1950s and early 1960s, releasing it in 1966.

The language began as a mathematical notation for manipulating arrays. Iverson used his notation in a draft of a book that he was writing with Fred Brooks. While employed by IBM in 1962, he began the work of developing his notation into a complete programming language. Lawrence M. Breed, Richard H. Lathwell, and Roger Moore had a hand, along with Iverson, in developing Iverson's notation into a programming language.

IBM was largely responsible for introducing APL to the marketplace in 1966, and it was first made available for the IBM 1130 in 1967, at which time it was known as APL\1130. Capable of running in as little as 8k 16-bit words of memory, it used a dedicated 1-megabyte hard disk.

During the 1970s, APL was widely used on mainframe computers because it would support multiple users on systems that lacked dynamic address translation hardware. Versions of the language were developed for additional IBM computer products. In time, modified versions were produced for computers outside of the IBM family.

By the late to mid-1980s, users were migrating their applications to the personal computer environment, where BASIC became the more common programming language. However, some microcomputers provided APL instead, the first being the Intel 8008-based MCM/70, which was released in 1974. Another was the VideoBrain Family Computer, which began production in 1977. The Commodore SuperPET included an APL interpreter.

In the 1980s, APL development at IBM was implementing a new version of the language. Iverson, no longer in control of APL development, left IBM and joined I.P. Sharp Associates, where he directed Sharp APL in accordance with his vision of the language.

Modern implementations of APL include extensions for object-oriented programming, support for the .NET framework, and other additions.

The A language was created to replace APL in 1988, although APL is still in use, and A+ descended from A. Developed by Kx Systems, K is a proprietary variant of APL.

Websites focused on these languages may be listed in this category, along with those covering the APL programming language, or any tools created to supplement them. Tutorials, user groups, and other sites closely related to APL, A, A+, K, or any other close variants of the APL language, are appropriate for this category.


A (languages)



Recommended Resources

Search for APL on Google or Bing