Last year we discovered that the first APL workspace was saved November 27, 1966 at 18.53.59. (GMT); the excitement of this momentous event pulling the guys away from home and the American Thanksgiving holiday. Today we know that this evidence isn’t 100% the truth… it’s more like 99.7% truth… According to an eyewitness account from my dad history has been slightly amended… if only by a few seconds!
Should today be APL’s official birthday?
It just so happens that 2012 is the 50th anniversary of the publication of that one little book, “A Programming Language“. THE one little book, that Harvard deemed too small to launch its author, Kenneth E. Iverson into a tenure track position. Harvard sent Ken packing! It wasn’t until much later that Ken’s work and this one little book was recognized by the world, winning the Turing Award which is recognized as the “highest distinction in Computer science” and the “Nobel Prize of computing“.
The moral of this story?
Do it right and do it well. Happy Birthday APL!
Many thanks to Rick Procter who reminded me about the significance of 2012 earlier this fall.