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Vol.26 No.4

Vol.26 No.4


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British APL Association
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Archive articles posted online on request: ask the archivist.


Volume 16, No.4

Sustaining Members’ News

APL2000 Inc

APL2000 announces APL+Win version 3.6 (a free upgrade to license holders of version 3.5).

Version 3.6 introduces several new features, including:

  • Watchpoints. A watchpoint is an event that is triggered whenever the value of a variable is changed. You can use watchpoints to help find where variables are unlocalized or to create a log of the functions that changed a variable and what value they changed it to.
  • Place property. This property allows a programmer to control the position at which a minimized or maximized form or MDI Form will appear when it is restored.
  • Images on Menus. Images can now be placed on menus, similar to the way in which images can be placed on buttons.
  • Menus as Radio groups. In a set of radio menus, only one may be selected at a time. The selected menu shows a solid round marker reminiscent of a radio button (option control), rather than a check mark.
  • Default Menu Item. One item in a menu can be selected as a default item and will appear as bold on the menu. Especially common in popup menus.
  • Improvements to the specification of images for icon and pointer properties.
  • Additional placement styles for the Selector Control.
  • Enumeration of collections for ActiveX objects.
  • Events from Microsoft Office products.
  • Consolidated and Improved APL+Win Documentation.

For additional information and to download your copy, visit

Soliton Associates

Soliton plans to make SAX 6.0 (SHARP APL 6.0 for Unix) available to corporate customers in the second quarter of 2000. Soliton’s FTP site will have the personal edition of SAX 6.0 for Linux shortly thereafter. SAX 6.0 will be available for SunOS, IBM AIX and Intel Linux. SAX 6.0 will be the first SHARP APL release supported for production use under Linux.

As part of the connectivity suite for SAX and SAM (SHARP APL for OS/390), corporate customers have been using the SJI (SHARP APL Java Interface) and SBI (SHARP APL Browser Interface) to enable Java and Web access to their applications. The facilities offered by the SJI are Java generic and may include GUI and JDBC access from APL. The SBI is able to interface with industry standard HTTP servers, such as IIS from Microsoft, using JAVA Servlets. A major advantage of using Servlet is that 40 and 128-bits SSL encryption comes at no extra cost for APL application developers. A set of XML utilities is planned. The SBI and SJI will be available for the users of the personal edition of SAX for Linux at no cost.

Soliton is developing an IDE or Integrated Development Environment that will run on desktops that are TCP-connected to a SAX or SAM server. With the IDE, it will be possible to have several sessions open at once, to edit and trace applications visually and use drag/drop to move objects between sessions and saved workspaces, files or packages. Being Java based, the IDE can run on most platforms. Soliton plans to make the IDE available to all platforms including SAX for Linux.

Soliton is making available an international keyboard and fonts for the X-term environment. The new keyboard and fonts supports the full SHARP APL character set and the national use characters commonly used in western Europe: ß, ä, Ä, ö, Ö, ü, Ü, å, Å, æ, Æ, ø, Ø, ñ, Ñ, é, è, à and . For more information, refer to our web page:

Insight Systems

We’re happily fighting our In Trays again at Insight Systems, but don’t have anything really exciting to announce yet. So we’d like to use this space to make up for an important omission in our news in Vector 16.3: we are also the Danish source for Causeway products – and to launch what we hope will become an annual event: The Viking APL Meeting.

Every February, at the coldest time of the year, Finnish APL users gather for the FinnAPL Forest Seminar, with a handful of international guests. We were there this year, and are happy to report that APL is alive and well in Finland. In fact, the Finns suggested that there is room for a second annual APL event in the Nordic region – a Viking APL Meeting, to be held in Denmark each autumn.

Insight Systems is happy to test the water and invite anyone living in an area visited by Vikings (in case you are in doubt, that is supposed to include most places between Turkey and Mexico) to visit Denmark on Thursday October 5th & Friday 6th, for the first Viking APL Meeting. Our intention is that these meetings have a practical focus. Each year, we will focus on one or two emerging technologies we believe APL users have an interest in, and invite guests to present the topics and run workshops.

The focus for the 2000 meeting will be the Causeway products NewLeaf and RainPro. We believe that there are still dozens of APL applications which could achieve dramatic improvements in the quality of the graphs and reports produced, through the use of this technology. Adrian Smith will present one product each day, followed by a case study by current users of the technology. During the afternoons, Adrian and a couple of assistants will help you embed New Leaf or Rain Pro in your application.

Please contact to let us know whether you are likely to attend, or have any suggestions regarding the timing or content of this meeting.

Causeway Graphical Systems Ltd

The world of internet graphics is suddenly getting very interesting indeed, and the RainPro engine is discovering how to do all sorts of new things. One little idea we tried recently was allowing arbitrary JavaScript expressions to be associated with your chart data – because VML graphics are true ‘objects’ in the browser’s document model, they can handle all the standard callbacks, like onMouseOver and onMouseDown. All very theoretical until you try it with a Gantt chart and realise that here is a tool that allows you to put the front-end to a scheduling system entirely into the browser, draggy bars and all. Expect a demo at Berlin!

The other likely announcement at Berlin will be a properly supported (and totally modernised) release of Adrian’s HelpStuf workspace for Dyalog APL. This just learned how to make proper PDFs – complete with hotlinks and contents tree – so it really is getting close to being a single source for all your documentation. Helpfiles (old style and CHM), MS Word (any version) and website as HTML or downloadable PDF. Recent additions include the ability to include/exclude sections, topics or even tagged text selectively by ‘build’, and to do outbound string replacement, again depending on build. This might simply let you have US and English builds (‘Color’>>‘Colour’) or in my case Dyalog and APL+Win builds (‘ch.’ >> ‘ch’) from a single source topic.

In addition to participating in Insight’s VikingAPL gathering, Causeway will be running a hands-on workshop at Berlin. It could be on HelpStuf, it could be ‘using NewLeaf for background printing’, it could be ‘building a graphical web site’ or it could be something different again. Ideas and suggestions welcome – there is plenty of time to adjust the content to suit the potential audience if I start now.

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