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Bay Area: APL's Golden Anniversary

posted 14 Nov 2016, 10:58 by Stephen Taylor
Bay Area
The APL Bay Area Users' Group (The Northern California SIGAPL of the ACM) will meet on the 19th of November to hear Dyalog APL's Gitte Christensen recall the first 50 years of APL and Morten Kromberg speculate on the next 50 years.

    Saturday, 19 November 2016, 2:30 p.m.

    at The Computer History Museum, Boole Room
    1401 North Shoreline Blvd.
    Mountain View, CA  94043

SAVED 1966-11-27 14.53.59 (GMT-8)

That timestamp from 50 years ago gives us a time to celebrate APL's birthday.  Morten Kromberg and Gitte Christensen will be here sooner, but their visit will be a great occasion for those of us in the SF Bay area to celebrate.

Gitte Christensen,  "50 Years of APL":

An introduction to the early years of APL:  the different applications of APL are described in the context of changing conditions through the last 50 years.  The evolution of APL is outlined and the current state established.  In summary, this is a story of computing driven by end-users.

Morten Kromberg, "The second 50 years":

The first 50 years of APL (1966-2016) were a bumpy ride, the high point probably being the early 1980's with personal computing and hand-made corporate software on mainframes, and the low point the proliferation of C++ based GUI frameworks in the 1990's which made life all but impossible for domain experts trying to write applications.

At the start of the second 50 years, the bad news is that the rest of the world is starting to recognise and duplicate some of the key strengths of the language, so the competition getting stronger from dynamic languages like Python and Julia. The good news is that this recognition brings some respectability, and although other languages are adding array-oriented features pioneered by APL, there is still little competition in terms of notation, where the APL family remains unique as an executable but precise mathematical tool of thought.

In this talk, Morten will explore the opportunities that he sees for APL in its second half-century.

The speakers

Gitte has a M.Sc in Biology with Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry from the University of Copenhagen, but decided that APL programming was more likely to provide her with a regular income.  Gitte joined I.P. Sharp Associates, where she met Morten, who had recently started working for IPSA straight out of High School.

When IPSA was acquired by Reuters, Gitte and Morten formed Insight Systems with a colleague, where they worked on porting APL systems between platforms, and also provided middleware solutions to several APL vendors.  In 1994, Insight Systems merged with Adaytum Software, with Morten becoming the CTO and Gitte the manager of the development team and the Nordic sales team.  Adaytum developed and marketed a highly successful Business Intelligence solution based on Dyalog APL, and was subsequently acquired by Cognos.

Since 2005 Gitte and Morten became CEO and CTO of Dyalog Ltd ( ), the fastest-growing vendor of APL interpreters.  At the beginning of this year, Morten handed the CTO role over to Jay Foad and assumed the title of CXO of Dyalog, with overall responsibility for User Experience.  Further information on recent presentations by Morten can be found at

More on the golden anniversary of APL is at .