Robot programming in APL

November 26, 2014

Morten Kromberg, CTO at Dyalog shows two robots that communicate wirelessly, navigate, and explore. And they’re written in a language little changed since the 1960s, APL.

Throughout the night Morten showed the hieroglyphic language doing web scraping, writing servers, 3d simulations, and runnings robots. The language has a small fervent userbase, mainly European. They’re in a fascinating parallel universe of computing, one which talks about those “new additions” to the language in the early 90s.

They carry the APL torch in corners of industries like finance, medical records, and (real) engineering. It’s a language often wielded by people who are knowledgeable in fields other than coding, people who program incidentally to support their main activities.