APL (named after the book A Programming Language ) is a programming language developed in the 1960s by Kenneth E. Iverson. Its central datatype is the multidimensional array. It uses a large range of special graphic symbols to represent most operators, giving very concise code. It has been an important influence on the development of concept modeling, spreadsheets, functional programming, and computer math packages. It has also inspired several other programming languages. It is still used today for certain applications.
The mathematical notation for manipulating arrays which developed into the APL programming language was developed by Iverson at Harvard University starting in 1957, and published in his A Programming Language in 1962. The preface states its premise:
Applied mathematics is largely concerned with the design and analysis of explicit procedures for calculating the exact or approximate values of various functions. Such explicit procedures are called algorithms or programs. Because an effective notation for the description of programs exhibits considerable syntactic structure, it is called a programming language .