TryAPL2 is a fully working version of the original IBM programming language APL2, a very powerful and unique programming environment especially useful for complex, data-intense situations. APL - which stands simply for "A Programming Language" - was the first interactive computer-programming tool. APL ran on the early IBM mainframe computers, and was the first programming language for the first IBM personal computers, developed in the early 1970's. The language makes use of the Greek letters and symbols which were adopted for mathematics originally, but you don't need a math background to use APL effectively. In the late 1980's and early 1990's, when the computer technology liftoff really started to fly, the IBM folks and others in the APL world, extended the original language and called it APL2. The TryAPL2 product was developed as a free-to-copy software package that ran on IBM P/C machines, and allowed students, educators and technically curious potential customers to try out the APL2 product and gain familiarity with its features. APL2 remains available on a variety of platforms, ranging from data-centre mainframes to small AIX, Linux and Android based platforms.
Gemesys Ltd is pleased to offer this unique and highly educational neat little product to Android tablet users. The original IBM license not only allowed for, but encouraged users to copy and share the software, in an effort to encourage and support APL language use and development.
APL, and the interesting APL2 extentions to the original language, allow and encourage a different way of working with information, and thinking about data-driven problems. Simple - and yet powerful - short functions can be written quickly, allowing ideas and methods to be investigated using a working prototype, much the same way early engineers would lash together a circuit on a desktop to evaluate a potential electronic systems enhancement.
The development of the modern tablet computers favours a language environment like APL and APL2, and my
early initial development was directed at Blackberry's Playbook, where I was able to get the P/C version of the old Sharp APL product running. Combined with GNUPlot37, one has a nice tool for math-hacking and data visualization.
And now, with the powerful Android tablets available for low cost, I wanted to make a real APL available which could be used for educational and experimental purposes. The "TryAPL2" product, version 2.0, dates from 1991, and was designed to run APL2 on 80x86 Intel architecture - the world-changing IBM P/C - and correctly replicate the APL2 mainframe and AIX-workstation products. According to the documentation, the TryAPL2 workspaces, which have the three letter extension of ".TRY", can be loaded directly by any of the various flavours of IBM's APL2 offerings.
APL2 differed from the original APL Language specification, in that it extended the conceptual model for data organization and manipulation. The data objects of scalars (single numbers or letters), vectors (strings of numbers or letters) and matricies (tables and n-dimensional blocks of numbers), could be "nested", so that one could have, for example, a "nested" vector where each element of the vector might be a numeric matrix, a page of text, and maybe just a single number. New operators were developed to manipulate (enclose and disclose) the contents of these nested collections of data-items.
The TryAPL2 for Android product makes use of our "gDOSbox" emulator, which built from the original "DOSbox" open-source code, which in turn appears to have grown out of the "DOSemu" product. The TryAPL2 emulator runs on DOSemu and gDOSbox in Linux, under the "Cmd" window on Microsoft Windows various flavours, and now as a gDOSbox application on Android. It has been tested on a Samsung SM-T310 tablet, 4.4.2 Android version, but it must be stressed that this product is offered for experimental and educational use only, and may be unstable.