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Re: Documentation of the BOXING values.

From: Dr . Jürgen Sauermann
Subject: Re: Documentation of the BOXING values.
Date: Fri, 8 Jan 2021 22:18:50 +0100
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Hi Peter,

yes, ⎕CR and ⎕FIO are entirely "nice to have" things that I felt could
be useful. ⎕CR is a pandora box of conversion functions while ⎕FIO
contains a collection of operating system functions.

I have tried to limit the number of functions in ⎕CR and ⎕FIO to
only those that are really tricky to do in APL itself, so they are
a bit more than just convenience functions.

I remember that in the 1970s we used to write auxiliary processors
to implement this kind of functions - primarily for performance reasons.
In my opinion the lack of this kind of interfaces was one of the reasons
why APL was not as widely adapted as it should have been (the other
reason was, IMHO, the high prices of APL interpreter and machines
at that time). So with GNU APL at my disposal I can now create an
APL that has exactly the features that I want it to have.

I'm a retired programmer and I still like to program as a hobby. Many of
the ⎕-functions started as little programming exercises that I like to
do from time to time. After having spent considerable time with such
an exercise, I sometimes decide to share the result, either as ⎕CR
or ⎕FIO sub-functions or, for more complex ones, as ⎕-functions.
My current exercise is, by the way, ⎕XML which will become an
interface to XML files.

Having that said, there is no need to keep up with the development
of ⎕CR and other ⎕-functions. You can safely ignore their presence
(and they don't eat bread as we say in Germany).

Best Regards,

On 1/8/21 8:03 PM, Peter Teeson wrote:
Hi Jürgen:

Thanks so much for your patient help.

Being so out of date with modern APL I am completely “gob-smacked” (as the Brits used to say). Did not realize how much ⎕CR has been extended from the 1984 IBM APL 2 Language Reference Manual.
Ditto for the 2000 ISO Standard.

The elegance and beauty of the pure language, as extended, still remains.
But to me the proliferation of ⎕ functions, useful as they may be, seem somewhat overwhelming. Do we really need all of them I wonder? Or are they just “it would be nice to have” things”?

Oh well… I’m just a grumpy old man I guess….



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