Python sequences reference - problem?

Alex Martelli aleax at
Fri Sep 20 10:10:35 EDT 2002

Michael Schneider wrote:

> I also like python.
> When doing pure math  I have been using J for prototyping algorithms.
> J is basically APL without the special symbols .

Brings me back a LONG time -- APL and APL2 were all the rage in 
IBM Research back in the '80s, which is where I first worked.  I
also used APL for the prototype of my master thesis in the '70s
(later completed it in Vax/VMS Fortran and Assembler -- and, for
the specific job that program was doing [compiling AHPL code into
a gate-level circuit design], Fortran with a bit of Assembler
turned out to be much more productive than APL, too:).

However, I just can't get into J: what used to be "at first weird,
soon learned and readable" symbols have mutated into "totally
obscure forever" symbols (in my opinion).  I still *THINK* in APL
for some problems: I want an `expand` primitive, don't really
care about its syntax or how it's spelled, a `reduce` one too,
etc, etc... but J's cconcrete syntax is just too weird for me.


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