APL Dialects


APL Dialects

Once upon a time there was an APL interpreter for every hardware and operating system platform you could think of. It was almost a benchmark, a proof that the manufacturer was a serious player if they had an APL running. Now consolidations in the operating systems world, the manufacturers and in the interpreter writers, have left us with a smaller set.

The major APL vendors are: Dyalog APL; APL2; Soliton; MicroAPL; & APL2000. In addition there are a number of vector and array processing languages which are descendants of APL. These include K, J & A+. For a fairly comprehensive list see the Wikipedia.

These APL Dialects all have active web sites. I've not included ftp servers, news lists or mail servers:

  • A+ is an APL dialect available (as source) under the GNU GPL for various Unix, including Linux, Solaris, FreeBSD, NetBSD, developed at Morgan Stanley by Arthur Whitney et al. The BAA has had some success in porting to Windows
  • APL2000 has inherited the products of STSC/Manugistics -APL+DOS, APL+UNIX, APL+Win (for Windows 3.1, NT, 95), APL+Link, APL+Link Pro
  • APLX (was APL68000) for Windows, Mac OS (including Mac OS X), Linux and AIX. APL.6800 ran on Atari ST, IBM RS/6000, Mac level I/II, add in board for IBM PCs, PowerMac, Amiga). APLX for Linux is free for non-commercial use
  • NARS2000 an open source APL, named after, but unconnected with the old Nested Arrays Research system of STSC.
  • APLSE is a version of Manugstics/STSC's PC APL, available with very little documentation.
  • Dyalog (Win3.x/95/98/ME/2000/XP (they even had a DOS version), Unix/Linux, PocketPC 2002.
  • FreeAPL for IBM PC, MS Windows, a version of APL11 (if you remember that).
  • Glee is an APL descendent, for MS Windows.
  • IBM APL2 for Windows, AIX, Linux, Solaris and Mainframes.
  • J - J (for DOS, Linux, Windows, Mac, RS/6000, Sun)
  • K, Kdb; an APL derivative for Solaris, Linux, Windows, used for massive extremely fast databases.
  • openAPL a GPL (open source) interpreter, based on APL11
  • Q'Nial - not very active, but Nial developed at the same time as nested arrays were being added to the language and the same principles and array theory underpin it.
  • APL2C - APL to C compiler
  • APL in Javascript this Github page also points to what I believe to be three implementations of Nick's APL interpreter written in Javascript, a great demonstration of his skills (it got him a job at Dyalog), but I don't know how practical it is :-)
  • GNU APL The APL interpreter is an (almost) complete implementation of ISO standard 13751 aka. Programming Language APL, Extended.

With the disappearance of Soliton as an independent company, I cannot find a resouce for SHARP APL any more

FreeAPL was for IBM PC, MS Windows, a version of APL11 (the old DEC APL) - I say was because its webpage seems to have disappeared.