How can you not love a language that has a keyboard layout like this?
Seriously, though, I’ve found a certain fascination in APL ever since I first saw it back in … well, a number of years ago. A+, a new language based in part on good ‘ole APL, promises to be just as fascinating, but in a more modern and up-to-date way.
I remember having to find a special terminal (yes, a terminal) that had the funky APL keyboard caps, then picking out a program, one special character at a time. The good new was that in about 5 characters (including a couple of overtyped things that looked like squashed bugs), my program was finished – and doing real work. That’s the amazing thing about APL, and it’s modern ancestor A+ – the expressiveness is just amazing.
I’d show you some code samples, but you need a special font to read them, so you’ll just have to go have a look around on the A+ site.
Readability isn’t quite as scary as you might think at first, either, at least once you know what all those funny dead-bug symbols mean, as there’s not that many of them in a typical program. There’s also an ASCII mode, for the less adventurous.
I’ve yet to really give A+ a proper workout, but I have to say I’m looking forward to referring to my key-cap printout and taking it out for a spin!