Dyalog Primer - Introduction
purpose of these pages is to offer a guided tour, or self-tuition
guide, for people who have just installed Dyalog APL/W (Version 11 or
higher) and want to begin using APL as a solutions tool for business,
scientific or educational applications. It assumes no prior
knowledge of APL - just that Dyalog APL is installed.
- as of April 2008 this represents a first cut for an APL Primer -
which may be amended, augmented and updated as it is used - please send comments and suggestions.
- Each chapter
is divided into two main (parallel) sections.
exploration session which invites the reader/participant to try a
number of tasks
- A discussion section which outlines
the topic being covered and directs the reader/participant to further
(external) material. Exercises are also included.
a primer, the pages are just that. There is no pretence of
exhaustive - the goal is to give the reader/participant an exposure to
APL, an insight into good practice, and the confidence to take their
next step(s) indpendently.
- Please bear in mind that
first draft the goal is to establish material, presentation will be
polished once this is achieved.
- If you find any
errors, or would like to suggest changes to the material please contact
couple of suggestions...
you have previous programming experience, try to approach APL with an
open mind - for reasons that will (well, they should) become apparent
as you work through these pages it's not a good idea to learn APL by
simple translation from other - different - programming languages.
APL is indeed a language, it's a good idea to use the right terms in
the right way. The Vocabulary
page is there to help you achieve this.
are other versions of APL besides Dyalog - much of the material in
these pages is equally valid for APLX and APL2 - to name a couple.
But there's no attempt here to warn when things get specific
Dyalog. APL has also spawned a number of variants (J and K
examples) which are sufficiently different (in detail) that they
deserve (and have) their own primers.
- These pages
have not (yet) been subjected to the rigours of testing with a full
variety of browsers and screen resolutions. For fullest
compatibility I suggest Firefox and a screen resolution of at least
- The APL font used is APL385 Unicode
(supplied within the Dyalog APL/W product).
It should be possible to cut/paste between these pages and a
Dyalog session, but for the full programming experience it's suggested
the reader/participant types with their finger(s).
remember - you only really learn anything by making mistakes - and
recovering from them.