APL: Cooler than you think

By: on May 5, 2006

A couple of weekends ago now I attended the first UK Smalltalk meeting. Stephen Taylor spoke about some of his experiences using XP in the financial industry, and touched on his development of a financial DSL based in APL (!). There were a couple of informal talks introducing the APL programming language – it’s got a lot going for it. Bryce Kampjes gave a demonstration of his Smalltalk compiler, Exupery, and after the main talk gave a demo of how he debugs the compiler and some of the basic-block visualisation and disassembly tools he’s built. Marcel Weiher gave a fascinating talk on Higher-Order Messaging, Objective Smalltalk (an inversion of Objective-C where the message-send syntax is the default, and escaping to C is done with a special construct), stsh, a Smalltalk shell based on his Objective Smalltalk implementation, and Arches, an experiment in multiparadigm language implementation with an interesting approach to metaprogramming and reflection.

Thanks to all who gave talks! I’m looking forward to the next meeting.

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