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27973APL @ 50 Event in Toronto

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  • joshbensadon
    Nov 1, 2012
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      Today I learned much about APL at the York University APL@50 Event.
      I met and had fun talking with Mers Kutt, the inventor of the MCM/70 PC back in 1972.

      Zbigniew Stachniak organized the event for the most part as follows:

      10:00 Stachniak opens the event.
      10:15 Jeffry Shallit speaks about the power of APL which explains why he still uses it every day.
      10:45 Eric Iverson shares stories about his family's history and his fathers passion to teach which led to the development of APL in 1962
      11:30 Gordon Ramer shares his stories about implementing APL on IBM/360's and his use of APL on several other systems.
      12:30 Lunch break, Not APL related.
      1:45 Caherin Lathwell shares a sample screening of her video about K. Iversons book, A Programming Language. Movie to come out in 2015.
      2:00 Jim Brown talks about the progression of APL2 and J, how decisions were made to build on the language without changing it's pleasant "shape".
      2:45 All 5 speakers formed a panel to discuss the world of APL, past, present and future.

      Please see pictures in the picture section, in my folder Josh Bensadon.

      In the Panel Picture, the names are from left to right,
      E. Iverson, J. Brown, G. Ramer, John, J. Shallit

      I did not see Mers Kutt in the first half of the event, but he came in just before Jim Browns session and sat down right beside me! I was very pleased and amazed to be talking with this pioneer of early PC's. His passion for these systems is very much alive to this day. He believes there is not enough being done to keep APL thriving and would like to see it rise to show all its power again.

      I'm sorry I did not take enough care to better document the event. However, I do believe Zbigniew did what he could to record it.

      I don't know who Edsger Dijkstra is, or why he wrote "APL is a mistake, carried through to perfection. It is the language of the future for the programming techniques of the past: it creates a new generation of coding bums." In fact, he was quoted a few times with negative comments. Does anyone have anything nice to say about him? Who was he?

      I'll see about finding a recording of the event for the group.

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