What is it? A set of durable keycap stickers for your keyboard to ease programming in APL. APL (A Programming Language -- really, that's what it stands for!) is an array-based programming language; i…Read More…
A set of durable keycap stickers for your keyboard to ease programming in APL.
APL (A Programming Language -- really, that's what it stands for!) is an array-based programming language; in fact, it's the granddaddy of array-based languages. It is a mathematics-oriented language, arising from the notation invented by Kenneth E. Iverson.
APL is an amazingly powerful language and will change the way you think about programming. Array-based languages are quite different from other 'modern' programming languages. APL pioneered the concepts of map/reduce and arguably numeric computing itself. Modern statistical and numeric frameworks like Python's NumPy, the MATLAB language (and even spreadsheets!) can trace their roots to APL (see Iverson Ghosts).
Since APL uses an extended symbol set which is not present on any retail keyboard, one must always have an APL keyboard chart somewhere, either physically as a reference card or in a background window on the desktop which isn't always visible. It can be a bit of a barrier to new users getting comfortable with the language.
APL has many modern implementations: some commercial, some free. I am particularly fond of GNU APL (Hint: get the latest SVN version rather than the older v1.8 there and build it to suit your system).
These keyboard cap stickers, made of durable PVC and professionally-printed, are easily applied onto standard laptop or PC desktop keyboards. Dedicated replacement keycaps or entire keyboards invariably cost many times this, reaching into the hundreds of dollars (and no one it seems makes replacement keycaps for laptops).
They can easily be replaced or removed without damaging your keyboard's original silkscreening.
For now, I only have the US layout. To see if these can be easily used on your keyboard layout, consult the Dyalog APL keymap diagrams for various countries here.
With a bit of scissor handiwork, it looks like the UK layout shouldn't be too hard to do (the quote (") and at (@) symbols can be snipped out, leaving your keyboard's originals and the pound visible). Other layouts might take more work. But if you need an international layout, Please contact me! If I get enough demand for different country layouts, I may be able to produce them!
NOTE There is one minor print error -- the APL statement separator (⋄ 'diamond') and quad-diamond (⌺) glyphs are stacked incorrectly on the tilde key sticker. Oops. :P If it bothers you horribly, just cut this sticker in half and flip the right part upside-down before applying.
For a great introduction to APL, see APL2 At A Glance.
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I ship packages via air mail, but cannot offer tracking (sorry -- it's more expensive than the items themselves, unless you are ordering 10+ items -- in that case, please contact me to arrange tracking). Shipments to the US take 3-4 weeks, Europe and the rest of the world can take 6-8 weeks.
Jürgen | Oct. 18, 2021
Chris | Oct. 16, 2021
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