December 17th

[edit] Kenneth E. Iverson

Today is the birthday of Kenneth E. Iverson, who was born in 1920 and died in 2004. Iverson was the inventor of the APL programming language. APL has been called "was one of the few truly creative masterpieces of the computer world in the last 30 years".

APL, originally named "Iverson notation", is different from almost all other computer languages in that it uses mathematical symbols and requires a special keyboard to type the symbols. Proponents claim that APL programs are much more succinct than other computer languages. The APL language is also known for it's strong support for parallel processing.

Wikipedia gives this short APL program for calculating primes from 1 to R:

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It is much shorter than the 87 character C program that does the same thing.

[edit] © 2006, Jorge Monasterio



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