RE: Again sorry to talk about APL

From: Carl W. Brown (
Date: Thu Mar 15 2001 - 10:13:26 EST


I have programmed is 40-50 different programming languages and have even
built my own compilers with lex & yacc. I learned programming by first
learning machine language from the circuit diagrams of an IBM 1401. Then I
learned assembler (AUTOCODER). It has given me a fundamental training that
I don't see today.

BTW the worst language that I ever worked on was CAS 50. This is the
microcode for the IBM 360-50. The instructions were 109 bits long. This
was a fully encoded microword and each contained up to 23 different
instructions from an asymmetric set of about 2000 instructions. When you
coded a specific function the results may not complete for 3-4 machine
cycles. You had to start the operation in advance so that you could use the
results in a later instruction. 20 fingers and toes were not enough to keep
track of all the registers, the mover, the adder, 32 bit busses, 4 bit
busses, latches, memory write and reads. (All memory reads were destructive
so you had to write the data back to memory).


-----Original Message-----
From: Lars Marius Garshol []
Sent: Wednesday, March 14, 2001 11:22 PM
To: Unicode List
Subject: Re: Again sorry to talk about APL

* Dan Kolis
| APL and LISP are the deviants in expecting programs to be like
| mathematics and aspire to goals like provability;

Lisp is indeed a deviant among programming languages, but not in any
of the ways you suggest. The really sad thing about it is that nobody
seems to be able to say anything about it that is correct.

| Why not try teaching LISP as a first computer language?

Many universities do, using Scheme. It seems to work very well. Perhaps
in part because they get to use what many call the best book on
progrmaming ever written.

<URL: >

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

Same goes for me, but it drives me nuts to see people always repeating
the same myths about Lisp. Apologies in advance.

--Lars M.

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