Again sorry to talk about APL

From: Dan Kolis (
Date: Wed Mar 14 2001 - 17:36:32 EST

In the dewey decimal system numbers start at 1 for highest levels of
abstraction and go down to 999 for details. So theology is up in the 1,2,3
and steam engine operation around 600. Computer science is in the single
digits, and programming is around 621 or so.

APL and LISP are the deviants in expecting programs to be like mathematics
and aspire to goals like provability; (which may in fact be impossible,
actually). For instance, like A+B always = B+A there are APL operations
which are entirety and always true.

Rho Rho (iota) =: Rho , iota

This is so unlike normal computer languages, which truly do belong in the
bad neighborhood of ideas, far below the reliable steam engine!

But schools always manage to make it worse. Teaching languages which don't
scratch at the roof of abstraction, but plumb the depths of the obvious. If
Pascal is so great, why does everyone get hit with it in school and then
never use it again? Why not try teaching LISP as a first computer language?
Does everybody have to write mundane programs to do bookkeeping? Hmmmm make
the dumb kids make the clay ashtrays. I get it now.

Dan [off topic pretty far, I'd say] Kolis

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