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Re: [Bug-apl] External tools acting on interpreter commands (nabla and )

From: Juergen Sauermann
Subject: Re: [Bug-apl] External tools acting on interpreter commands (nabla and )ED)
Date: Sat, 15 Feb 2014 13:05:04 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux i686; rv:17.0) Gecko/20130330 Thunderbird/17.0.5


I dare to disagree. In my opinion the ∇ editor is very useful in APL scripts (not used as interactive editor, but to define functions used later on in the script). Functions specified with ∇ are IMHO much more readable than functions specified with ⎕FX, in particular when they are long.

The advantage of having one more char available may not be worth the confusion and
incompatibilities that it may create.

/// Jürgen

On 02/12/2014 10:17 AM, Nick Lobachevsky wrote:
Function definition mode (typing ∇ followed by a symbol name) is an
artifact of the kind of terminal hardware supported by APL (the IBM
2741 with its iconic typeballs) in the 1960s.   As such, nearly 50
years later, it may be worth rethinking some of these things to take
advantage of newer editor and windowing technologies in common use.

In my opinion, in a windowed environment, function definition mode can
be safely disabled provided the system can provide an alternative
editor for functions and possibly variables.  In SS Windows, Dyalog
APL invokes an editor when you double click with the cursor positioned
over a name.  APL2000 invokes a full screen editor when you type ∇
followed by a name.  Function definition mode seems to be retained in
some implementations simply to be part of a faithful replica of

Removing function definition mode would have the side effect of
freeing the ∇ character for other uses.

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