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Introduction to APL GURU

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  • Introduction to APL GURU

    Welcome APL GURUs. Share your knowledge, tips and tricks about the APL programming language. Provide a learning platform for "newbees" to visit including Whitepapers, YouTube videos, Training Aids, Online APL training courses, and presentations.

    If you are an APL GURU, then this is the place to share your experiences. If you are new to APL, then this is the place to come and learn from the experts. will have hundreds of YouTube videos that explain the APL language, step by step. Select a topic, and get a quick refresher. Or, download the APL PDF BOOK (FREE) and walk through the complete YouTube training module - chapter by chapter.

    Search the APLGURU to find quick tips and tricks about APL applications posted by the "best of the best".

    APL GURUs who wish to upload their knowledge should sign-up as a member of

    Access to content is free for everyone.

  • #2
    Have you ever wondered "who invented the APL programming language" ?

    We know that Dr. Kenneth Iverson developed the original research paper that spawned the initial APL symbology and concepts.

    But, credit is also given to several other smart people (also PhDs) including Larry Breed, Adin Falkoff, and Roger Moore who implemented the first "version" of APL (the programming language) on a small computer using Fortran to "describe" the APL language.

    From there, IBM advanced APL and promoted its use in several government offices and college computer labs.

    Here's the Wikipedia article that gives the history of the APL programming language:
    Wikipedia on APL

    And, a great photo of the original "visionaries" who created the mathematical notation (called "APL") and figured out how to make it into "A Programming Language" (APL). Click image for larger version

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    • #3
      APL is more popular outside the USA.

      This may be related to APL's mathematical notation with special characters that allow other human language users to easily program "in their own language".

      For example:

      The APL algorithm for finding the AVERAGE of a set of numbers is:

      (+/V)÷⍴,V which is "universal" for all regional human languages.

      Then, in English, we call this AVERAGE and can encapsulate this APL statement into a monadic function (single argument passed on right) called "AVERAGE".

      ∇Z←AVERAGE V

      ENGLISH: AVERAGE 10 20 30 40 50
      30 (result)

      However, in Russia, China, Germany, France, Spain and India .. each APL user can choose a different "NAME" for the same APL mathematical expression.

      DUTCH: GEMIDDELDE 10 20 30 40 50 60
      GERMAN: DURCHSCHNITTLICH 10 20 30 40 50 60
      RUSSIAN: V_SREDNEM 10 20 30 40 50
      FRENCH: MOYENNE 10 20 30 40 50
      CHINESE: PINGJUN 10 20 30 40 50
      SPANISH: PROMEDIO 10 20 30 40 50
      INDIA: DIVAID 10 20 30 40 50
      The traditional languages impose a set of dozens (hundreds) of internal functions and variable names that are based on ENGLISH.

      This makes APL well suited as a universal programming language. While any APL program NAME might be different across various cultures, the APL mathematical notation within the program is universal.


      +/V - Add up a vector of numbers in variable V
      ÷ - Mathematical "divide" function (dyadic, with both left and right arguments)
      ⍴,V - Determine the length of vector (,) V (number of elements in the array)

      Learn more at


      • #4
        Another interesting fact is the underlying global character set UNICODE.

        UNICODE allows the APL Symbol Set to become part of the 100,000 symbols and letters used by all languages on Earth. UNICODE allows a simple "copy/paste" of APL program code between most all operating systems and programs (email, databases, web pages, notepad, Skype, chat, etc.).

        Look at the overall global trend of APL (the programming language) on GOOGLE TRENDS.

        It seems clear that the global interest in APL is, in fact, GROWING !

        Click image for larger version

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        • #5
          Hope and APL


          • #6