What is APL anyway?

A mathematical notation, but at the same time a complete, high level programming language. How so?

Traditional mathematics grew over centuries without overall planning. It accreted all kinds of notations and conventions with no discernible patterns and is both ambiguous and contradictory. Not to mention that typesetting is a nightmare. For these reasons, mathematical formulas are unsuitable in programming.

Enter Ken Iverson, a mathematician, who realised that some features of mathematics could be generalised and harmonised into a simple, yet powerful notation. This became APL, which both fits neatly on a single line and is unambiguous — perfect for programming.

APL provides domain and subject matter experts with a notation closer to familiar notations than what traditional programming languages can. It dispenses with common programming annoyances like extensive boilerplates, reserved words, and data type conversions. Its mnemonic symbols express fundamental but versatile concepts, from which the programmer builds more advanced concepts until the task is done.

APL is truly multi-paradigm too; allowing the programmer to weave a solution with dynamic, functional, array, structured, and object-oriented techniques. With its intuitive syntax, there are very few rules to remember, making APL very easy to learn too, so head on over to the Learn tab and get started!