Need some help. Cant decide if i should continue learning dyalog APL.

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Joseph Turco

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Jul 17, 2021, 5:58:50 PMJul 17
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Hello all,

i am a new programmer. I have been hunting down the language for me that i will enjoy hacking away at, and i found dyalog APL. I really enjoy so far following the "Mastering Dyalog APL" book and its been great. What i didn't realize is that this language is really only used for data sets and science/math. Im not very strong with mathematics (no algebra or calculus/trig) and i feel like i might be ending up wasting my time. I hope i don't mind if i'm bothering anyone, but what do you think i should do?

Regards,

Joseph Turco

J. Clarke

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Jul 17, 2021, 6:36:34 PMJul 17
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Finance still uses a lot of it. They're moving to R and Python but
there's so much APL out there that they will have trouble moving away
from it.

Finding an opening though can be a problem.

Joseph Turco

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Jul 17, 2021, 7:16:30 PMJul 17
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Thanks for responding,

This is purely for fun/hobby. Im not looking to get a job out of it. Does that change anything? As i said, im concerned ill learn a language i can't find a use for.

J. Clarke

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Jul 17, 2021, 7:53:27 PMJul 17
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On Sat, 17 Jul 2021 16:16:29 -0700 (PDT), Joseph Turco
If it's purely for fun one language is as good as another. But it
really depends on where your interests lie.

Joseph Turco

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Jul 17, 2021, 7:58:52 PMJul 17
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Id like to just make some fun programs. like a fake ATM machine or whatever ideas i come up with. Not sure if that gives you a good idea

Rav

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Jul 17, 2021, 8:15:16 PMJul 17
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As a retired professional APLer for over 40 years, I find APL perfect
for use as a hobby and just for fun. It's just too easy (and fun) to do
things with. Since you mentioned something like implementing a fake ATM
machine, one of the things I implemented is a "working" version of a
particular casino three-reel slot machine, complete with reels spinning,
wins (and losses of course), bonuses, etc.

Joseph Turco

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Jul 17, 2021, 10:14:36 PMJul 17
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oh wow, you can do that? Now i am really liking the idea of this language.
There's something about how the syntax is just easier to comprehend (at least it has been so far for me).
Ive tried smalltalk but i am not very good with OOP it seems (can't work out how to call the proper receivers and how the code should flow).
I tried Lisp and i didn't mind that but my mind wandered into other territory, where I ended up finding APL.

I think i need to stop lying to myself. It sounds like APL is right for me.

Kerry Liles

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Jul 17, 2021, 11:27:32 PMJul 17
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APL is a very good language to use to learn HOW to approach problems -
of course it is excellent at array processing but when you learn APL you
also learn to examine a problem from a number of different angles rather
than brute forcing your way down the first path you think of.
Many times a rearrangement of data leads to an elegant way to traverse
the data and produce a result. That elegance is insight.

J. Clarke

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Jul 18, 2021, 8:14:37 AMJul 18
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On Sat, 17 Jul 2021 19:14:36 -0700 (PDT), Joseph Turco
It's right for most people who take the time to learn it.

That said, before you make a final decision, take a look at Python and
R. R is pretty much Bell Labs' take on the same problem space that
IBM addressed with APL and Python, is, well, Python--there's a reason
it's the most popular programming language.

Personally I've been in love with APL for 40+ years but Python is an
exciting mistress that may yet steal my heart.

Joseph Turco

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Jul 18, 2021, 2:11:40 PMJul 18
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Fair enough. To be honest, im not really a fan of python. I just don't enjoy using it at all. I have more interest in languages like APL, smalltalk and Lisp/scheme/racket.

Joseph Turco

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Jul 18, 2021, 2:14:26 PMJul 18
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Hey Kerry, thanks for the response.

That's a very good way to look at it. I assume using Iverson Notation makes looking at problems a whole different ballgame.
There's just something about using notation makes the code flow better for me. Its just easier to digest. I will admit im not deep into learning it yet, but so far i have not found it hard to comprehend.

Andrew Fornallaz

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Jul 18, 2021, 4:50:30 PMJul 18
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To make fun programs, and to have fun by doing that, you obviously need a language you enjoy also from an aesthetic point of view. If you like the notation, go on! Besides, APL is certainly not restricted to the numerical domain.
I myself come from the Algol, Pascal, C corner (you can therefore guess my age). The first encounter with APL was for me the beginning of an awareness widening cure, in some sort.

J. Clarke

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Jul 18, 2021, 5:18:29 PMJul 18
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Pascal? You gotta be a youngster <g>.

Joseph Turco

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Jul 20, 2021, 8:21:18 AMJul 20
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> I myself come from the Algol, Pascal, C corner (you can therefore guess my age). The first encounter with APL was for me the beginning of an awareness widening cure, in some sort.e
yeah exactly. Here's another point for APL, i had a desktop that just died (around 10 years old) and have a raspberry pi zero W. I installed raspbian OS to use the smalltalk VM i was using before, and it was super slow. flashed the headless version of raspbian, installed dyalog APL, and while it doesn't have the same options as a GUI APL, it works like a dream. no lag at all.
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