Compiler Tools in APL

[This article originally appeared in ACM SIGPLAN Notices, Volume 13, No. 4, February 1991.]

Excellent application performance should not require tour de force programming efforts by users. Fortran 88, in an attempt to bring it from a scalar orientation into an array notation, has adopted some of the early concepts of APL, such as array operations. The introduction of these ideas is shown to be inadequate in meeting the algorithmic needs of programmers, in terms of expressiveness, consistency, and conciseness. Comparisons with APL show Fortran 88 to be a mongrel, neither scalar- nor array-oriented, unable to achieve the productivity, performance, reliability, and maintainability requirements of computer users in the 1990s.

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