Is there a Rosetta stone for APLs ? Should we make one ?

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Is there a Rosetta stone for APLs ? Should we make one ?

PostPosted by FDA OSInet » Tue Jul 05, 2016 6:18 am

People interested in APL are lucky : they have at their disposal not one, but five APLs which can be used free of charge. Among them, of course, NARS2000 that (I hope) we all use for obvious reasons : Windows implementation, full-screen editor, character colouring (by the way, is there some trick to INHIBIT it when we display data ?)

Other ones are GNU APL and A+ (which is a kind of APL, after all; and available in Ubuntu depots, together with the appropriate font), if we restrict ourselves to pure FOSS. If we are willing to accept some compromise, we could take into account the historical IBM APL2 as well (they propose a free trial version which will work until 5 hours of CPU time have been used with it) and even Dyalog APL accepts that we use their Dyalog APL free of charge in its 32-bits version providing it is for personal entertainment only.

Now, how do they compare ? How can they exchange workspaces ? We know that NARS2000 does not implement complex numbers yet, while GNU APL does :

Image.

We know that IBM APL2's keyboard is not very pleasant to use compared to the other four, especially if one uses a non-English keyboard, though it does propose a lot of good workspaces including GRAPHPAK and EXAMPLES. Dyalog APL comes with some good workspaces too. All of them AFAIK support ATF with )IN and )OUT, though I wonder if many people transfer workspaces between them. I do not know much (yet) about the way they support auxiliary processors, though GNU APL does offer ⎕SVO, ⎕SVR, ⎕SVC, ⎕SVS, ⎕SVQ together with AP100 and AP210.

The question is : did anybody summarize on a Nx5 table the advantages and drawbacks of each ? Should we ?

How can we tune their respective NLS keyboards so we do not have to learn a new one from scratch every time we switch between them?

Any hints ? Thanks for your attention.
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