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Vol.26 No.4

Vol.26 No.4

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Volume 25, No.4

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Editorial

August 1985, I was handed my first copy of Vector Vol.1 No.1. I had just joined BUPA, an escapee from a COBOL environment, where an analyst at a keyboard was deemed time wasting. An incidental exposure to VSAPL led to lunch times learning the language, and a subsequent career switch.

Coming from that relative isolation into a proper APL shop the wide and active community of APLers soon became apparent. Since then I have not been disappointed. APL has given me some great friends; work experiences; intellectual stimulation; and pleasure. The fun just goes on with other array processing languages such as J and K offering another rich vein to explore.

Stephen Taylor will be a tough act to follow. He has set the bar very high but has also given Vector the means and methods to continue producing an outstanding journal. Stephen’s efforts have been immense, taking on the role of an entire editorial committee. As editor he went beyond writing editorials, actively trying to obtain material to support series or collect related articles; as webmaster he built the website and archive to support online publication; as typesetter he also rebuilt the production process to get Vector in print.

Meet the three young apprentice APL Programmers in their article “Our first steps into the world of APL”. Funded by Optima Systems (UK) and Dyalog Limited in an initiative to introduce new people to the APL community. The apprentices were given a warm welcome in October by delegates at the Dyalog conference in Elsinore, Denmark. Here, as part of a presentation “Three Blind Mice” by Paul Grosvenor, delegates heard the apprentices describe their first experiences and impressions of APL. I am reminded of my own early journey.

In the archive is a wealth of material and amongst that material are some gems that are worthy of being reprinted, hopefully stimulating further interest and work. In this edition I have begun with a reprint of “Bayesian financial dynamic linear modelling in APL” in Vector 21.2 by Devon McCormick, and hope that Devon will follow this up with implementation in J. I will welcome suggestions for other candidate reprints.

This year sees the fourth anniversary of the BAA London symposia, these well fit either definition of “a meeting in which the participants form an audience and make presentations” or the alternative “convivial meeting for drinking and intellectual discussion”. From a personal point of view I have never attended one where I have not learned something useful. Phil Last gives a potted history in his article “BAA London” in this issue.

John Jacob

 

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