An Acronym for A ProgrammingLanguage.

Kenneth E. Iverson developed Iverson notation in the late 1950s, joined IBM in the early 1960s, and then developed APL from Iverson notation. APL is notable in that it uses a tremendous (and non-ASCII) character set. APL is traditionally considered succinct to the point of impenetrability. It is sometimes described as a "write-only language" — it takes a tremendous amount of effort to look at a line of APL code and figure out what it does, let alone what it was meant to do.

While some modern languages such as the various LISP dialects allow the same sort of peculiarities that led to APL's extreme terseness — functions taking other functions as parameters only to return an array of functions, for example — coders are often advised to avoid them in favour of maintainable code.

That particular example probably applies mostly to Java wussies who work as 9-5 code grunts. Functional programming is an underappreciated metaphor that can lead to concise, very flexible and maintainable code. See ML f.ex. —AristotlePagaltzis

Part of CategoryProgrammingLanguages