[seqfan] Re: J-language.

neville holmes holmeswn at yahoo.com.au
Sun Jul 4 02:03:55 CEST 2010

Comments insinuated in quotes from Douglas McNeil's
SeqFan post of 3/7/10.

> ...  What's the harm of an ueber-cryptic program,
> as long as there are alternatives?  ...
> I can make nothing of it at all, it's
> frankly impossible to do otherwise.

Impossible ?  One person's crypticism can be another
person's understanding delight.

> ...  I still think that this is the most obscure OEIS
> code I've ever seen -- and wasn't entirely convinced it
> wasn't an esolang joke of some kind.  ...

In fact it's in wide and successful, even enthusiastic,
use both personal and professional.  This will be seen
from a scan of jsoftware.com where it will also be seen
that the J system is free (I seem to remember a recent
post here claiming otherwise).
> One can compare the syntax of J with those of the
> languages, many quite sophisticated, at
> http://esolangs.org/wiki/Language_list ...

Surely the fact that J wasn't in that wiki should
have given at least a hint that J isn't esoteric
(see http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/esoteric).
In fact it was developed along the lines of APL by
the Canadian Ken Iverson who was given the prestigious
Turing Award in 1979 for his instigation of APL
(<a href=awards.acm.org/images/awards/140/articles/9147499.pdf>Notation
as a Tool of Thought</a>).

J is only one of several developments of APL.
Anyone wishing to look further into these array
(and hence sequence) processing coding systems
could start at the international magazine online
at vector.org.uk.

> ... But as our list manager has noted following
> that up would be quite off-topic.

Nevertheless it seems to me to be necessary to follow
it up briefly simply in justice to J, given the
extensive misinformation already spread abroad
in this thread.

But here it should stop.

Neville Holmes, P.O. Box 2412, Bakery Hill 3354, Victoria


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