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History of APL

by Chris Langreiter last modified 2008-07-29 08:53

Christian Langreiter, co-editor
Last updated April 12, 2006.


The goal of this project (similar to the FORTRAN/FORTRAN II and LISP sister projects) is to locate source code, design documents, tech notes, books, recorded talks and other materials concerning early APL implementations such as APL\360.

This project is just getting started and will be a work in progress for a long while. If you have suggestions as to what materials to include, what efforts to prioritize and any information on aspects of the history of APL not yet covered, please contact me.


APL\360: located (LS). Rights clearance in progress.


Kenneth E. Iverson. Automatic Data Processing, Chapter 6: A Programming Language. 1960. Draft of book chapter. Ditto machine copy, two colors. PDF b&w (7.5 MB) PDF color (30.2 MB)

Kenneth E. Iverson. A Programming Language. Wiley, 1962. Received online republication permission from Jean Iverson. Scanned, post-processing in progress.


Kenneth E. Iverson. The Description of Finite Sequential Processes. Preprint of a paper presented at 4th London Conference on Information Theory, August 1960. Ditto machine copy, two colors. PDF b&w (945 KB) PDF color (5.6 MB)

Kenneth E. Iverson. Programming notation in systems design. IBM Systems Journal 2-2, p.117, 1963. PDF at IBM alternate


The Origins of APL. A collection of three movies in which APL pioneers (Ken Iverson, Adin Falkoff, Larry Breed, Phil Abrams, Roger Moore, Roy Sykes, Herb Hellerman, John MacPherson, Eugene McDonnell, Garth Foster) remember the early days in the development of APL. Available on DVD from the BAA. (@@work w/ sjt to make available online)

Further Resources

  • A Celebration of Kenneth Eugene Iverson.
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