#### APL

APL is an array oriented programming language which means it's good for manipulating vectors, matrices and other kinds of arrays.

APL has many interesting characteristics among them is its syntax which uses non ASCII characters .

Here's a very nice video showing how to implement the Conway's Game Of Life in APL:

A very nice APL resource is the APL Wiki it has lots of information. Another very nice resource is The FinnAPL Idiom Library which contains lots little examples of code. Another nice resource is Vector the journal of the British APL Association which has information on the community around APL related languages.

The examples presented in this post were written using NARS2000 a nice open source implementation of APL.

#### Polynomial multiplication

As with a previous post on J I'm going to show the implementation of polynomial multiplication .

The following example shows the process of multiplying two polynomials:

(4x^{3} - 23x^{2} + x + 1) * (2x^{2} - x - 3)

= ((4x^{3} - 23x^{2} + x + 1) * 2x^{2}) +

((4x^{3} - 23x^{2} + x + 1) * -x) +

((4x^{3} - 23x^{2} + x + 1) * -3)

= (8x^{5} - 46x^{4} + 2x^{3} + 2x^{2}) +

(-4x^{4} + 23x^{3} - x^{2} - x) +

(-12x^{3} + 69x^{2} - 3x - 3)

= (8x^{5} - 50x^{4} + 13x^{3} + 70x^{2} - 4x - 3)

This example will be used to illustrate the parts of the code in the following sections.

#### The program

The final program to calculate polynomial multiplication looks like this:

Where

`a`

and `b`

are the polynomials.As with the previous post on J I'm sure there's a shorter way to write this program

(the number of parenthesis seems to indicate this!).

One key aspect to understand APL code is to remember that it evaluates expressions from right to left. See the Order of execution section of the APL Wiki for more information.

A description of each part of this program is presented in the following sections.

#### Polynomial representation

To represent polynomials we're going to use vectors the following way:

For:

`(4x`^{3} + 23x^{2} + x + 1)

the array will be:

`1 1 23 4`

In APL arrays are written as sequences of numbers separated by spaces (as above). You can manipulate this values easily, for example here we create two variables with two polynomials and add them:

In order to multiply each element of the array by a value we can simply write:

#### Outer product

The outer product operator lets you apply an operation to all the combinations of the elements of the operands. For example if we want to multiply each value of the two arrays representing the polynomials we want to multiply we can write:

#### Creating a matrix of intermediate polynomials

We need to obtain a matrix with the intermediate polynomials given the result of the outer product. But first I'm going to introduce the rho function. This function can be used to with one argument (monadic) to obtain the dimensions of the given array for example:

Or it can be used with two arguments (dyadic) to create an array of the given shape.

We can use this function combined with comma function to expand the matrix of polynomials:

The iota function lets you, among other things, create arrays of sequences of values. We're going to use it to create the values used to rotate each polynomial in our matrix:

The rotation of each matrix element is performed using the rotate function as follows:

The final step is to sum every vector in this matrix. We can do that by using the reduce operator (/) . This operator lets you apply a dyad operation to every element of an array accumulating the result. For example:

The nice thing about it is that if you apply it to a matrix, it will do the right thing by summing up every 1d vector. In our case we need to sum the rows so we change the axis of the operation.

#### Index origin

Before defining the final function we need to take an additional consideration. There is a system variable which modifies the origin of the

`iota`

function among other things. For example:In other to make our code independent of the value of

`IO`

by using it instead of references to '1' as above.#### Defining a function

The final function definition looks like this:

We can use this function as follows:

## 4 comments:

Hi, I´m sorry but I can´t understand anything. Just a want to tell you, you have a handsome boy.

Congratulations my love for this work, I'm your biggest fan.

I love you, L.

I'm glad to see APL made it on to your list of beautiful languages. This is a lovely post on some of the high points of the language.

I'm curious to know, how did you first learn about APL?

Thanks for your comment.

I first learned about APL when reading programing language texts that briefly mentioned it. For example SICP.

Then what really impressed me was the game of life video I mentioned above.

Hello Mark,

I am hoping you can help me here. I am trying to suppress empty spaces. Here is my question:

Fields in 3M can have calculations written in APL so that the they can execute and return a specific result. APL is also used in 3M when creating Letter Templates and alerts . This is where I am encountering a challenge and have reached out to 3M support but they have not been able to assist.

I am creating Physicians ICD10 Queries for the CDS. If the CDS does not choose all available Clinical Indicators or Treatments, I want to be able to suppress empty spaces and go to the end of the expression. In the example below, the user has an option to choose up to 9 CRI. The problem is that if they choose only 3 of the 9, it will leave blank spaces.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

CLINICAL/RISK INDICATORS RESULTS/LOCATION IN MEDICAL RECORD

«Expression» «Expression» «Expression»

«Expression» «Expression» «Expression»

«Expression» «Expression» «Expression»

«Expression» «Expression» «Expression»

«Expression» «Expression» «Expression»

«Expression» «Expression» «Expression»

«Expression» «Expression» «Expression»

«Expression» «Expression» «Expression»

«Expression» «Expression» «Expression»

_____________________________ ______________________________________________

TREATMENT RESULTS/LOCATION IN MEDICAL RECORD

«Expression» «Expression» «Expression»

«Expression» «Expression» «Expression»

«Expression» «Expression» «Expression»

_____________________________ ______________________________________________

I can send you a sample of each of the expressions (written in APL)/ Can you help?

Expression 1

Expression 2 – This is the TAB command in APL

Expression 3

Thank you,

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