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APL a Day #0: Introduction

The APL community seems ripe for a quick, simple, accessible daily series on APL, and here it is. What better time to start than the coming new year? Each session presents a small bit of APL (actually, of Co-dfns) eventually leading the studious reader to a complete knowledge of the language and how to use it. More than just a series of details on the mechanics of the language, the focus will quickly move from the bare essentials to the nit and grit of using APL in real situations. Doing so requires not only an understanding of the basic way APL fits together, but an understanding of the patterns (called idioms) and techniques used to leverage the language completely. Progress through this series will develop an appreciation for the design and motivation behind APL's unique approach, and an idea of how APLers use APL as a tool of thought in many areas of study.

All readers ought to obtain a copy of APL for their environment from Dyalog using the download form, which allows for either a non-academic, personal use license, or an academic license. Linux and Windows versions in 32-bit and 64-bit forms exist. These sessions will spend almost no time on the programming environment, as Mastering Dyalog APL covers that well enough, as do the other manuals available from Dyalog. The sessions will build upon one another, but they assume no prior programming experience, though having some familiarity with Pre-calculus or higher level mathematics will help.

Please send any comments or requests that you have concerning the series for consideration.