Gerunds and Representations - co-authored with Roger K.W. Hui

[This article originally appeared in the ACM SIGAPL APL91 Conference Proceedings.]

Gerunds, verbal forms that can be used as nouns, are recognized as having utility in the realm of programming languages. We show that gerunds can be viewed as arrays of atomic representations of verbs (functions), in a way which is consistent with the syntax and semantics of APL, and which allows verbs to be first class objects in the language. We define derivations of verbs from gerunds in the J dialect of APL, and show how these derivations provide control structures for sequencing, selection (in the sense of generalized forms of CASE or SWITCH statements and IF/THEN/ELSE), iteration (DO UNTIL), recursion, and parallel computation (MIMD, or Multiple Instruction, Multiple Data) . We conclude with alternative representations of verbs which are useful in other contexts.

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