In June of 1975, Edsger W. Dijkstra wrote an essay called: How do we tell truths that might hurt? Which is characterized as a series of aphorisms about computer programming languages, one of which is APL.
Essentially, Dijkstra wrote a bunch of catchy, satirical critiques about the programming languages of the day. He prefaces this work by mentioning a lack of rigorous criticism in the computing community, which I haven’t experienced, but I believe, because it’s backed up by some of Dennis Shasha’s work. So, I suspect that as an artifact of its time, this work could have galvanized computer scientists to shape up.
And then time marches on…
I haven’t done an official count, but my initial investigations indicate that Dijkstra’s 1975 quip against APL is the most frequently used quote about APL in cyberspace to this day.
Do you know what this means? Dijkstra is the author of APL’s most famous tag line. And that was 35 years ago. And it doesn’t appear as though he liked APL very much.
Now, there’s something to think about.