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Dyalog '08 – Preliminary Programme

Call for papers

As always we already have a number presentations tabled. However, there is still time before we complete the session puzzle. If you have a suggestion for a presentation you would like to hear, or if indeed you would like to present a project or a topic yourself please let us know now at

Early Bird Discount & Booking Information

Again this year we would encourage you to take advantage of our 10% early bird discount. The early bird discount is in place until Midnight on August 31st (UK time). If you want to have a look at the different conference package options please check the pricing here.

If you would like to know more before you book we hope that the booking information will answer all your immediate questions.

Preliminary Programme

The overall layout of Dyalog '08 is as follows:

  • Sunday October 12th: Training courses
  • Monday 13th - Tuesday 14th and Wednesday 15th am: Conference
  • Wednesday 15th pm: Training courses

The Banquet dinner will take place Tuesday 14th in the evening.

We will update the programme over time. Please therefore bookmark the conference webpage and check it on a regular basis for updates.

Tutorials / Workshops

As usual, a variety of tutorials and workshops will be presented, to allow you to dig more deeply into new features introduced in recent versions of Dyalog, learn techniques for building "modern" applications, or brush up your skills in the company of seasoned veterans.

Outside the Main Conference Program

  1. Sharpening Your APL Knife
  2. Source Code Management using SALT and SubVersion
  3. Migrating to Unicode
  4. Fast-track your GUI Design
  5. Using the Microsoft .NET Framework
  6. Introduction to Object-Oriented Programming
  7. Web Creole

Suggested Workshop Schedule

Sun AM: 1a, 4, 5, 6

Sun PM: 1b, 2, 3, 7

Weds PM: 1c, 2, 3, 5

During the Main Conference (Tuesday Afternoon)

  1. Conga & SSL Workshop
  2. RainPro Workshop

Abstracts – Sunday and Wednesday

Sharpening Your APL Knife – Kai Jager

If you only recently migrated to Dyalog, have been maintaining old code for a long time, or learned APL "on the road", this set of courses provides an opportunity to bring you up-to-date and get a better grip on modern APL.

The three courses are independent of each other, and can be combined with other tutorials.

a. The Basics (Sunday Morning)
Putting key components on a firm theoretical footing: Arrays, Namespaces, Prototypes, Identities, References, Scalar extension. Learn to predict results a bit better, including "administrative overhead", performance – and get better at avoiding common traps.

b. Advanced Features (Sunday Afternoon)
Building on the concepts discussed on Sunday morning, we move on to more advanced and powerful features of APL: Operators, Dynamic Functions and new language features introduced in Version 11.0. If time permits: A look at some real world examples implemented with Object-Oriented features, including some GUI. When is object orientation really useful?

c. Design, Readability, Maintainability (Wednesday Afternoon)
A catalogue of things to avoid; learn how to recognize problems. Performance and other design issues. Readability and debugging (about names). DRY (don't repeat yourself), "broken Windows", a discussion of "agile" concepts.

Source Code Management using SALT and SubVersion – Daniel Baronet

The Simple APL Library Toolkit (SALT) is a mechanism for storing Namespaces and Classes as text files, rather than using internal binary formats. SALT makes it easier to share code and take advantage of a variety of source code management tools developed for users of other programming languages. Dyalog is moving towards the use of SALT as the primary delivery mechanism for code libraries. In version 12.0.3, SALT has been enhanced to support the management of APL code which is not part of namespace of class scripts, so SALT can now be applied to all applications written in Dyalog.

The workshop will introduce SALT and show how it can be used together with an industry standard source code management system.

Pre-requisites: Dyalog 11.0 or later. Ideally, Dyalog 12.0 and SubVersion.

Workshop on Migrating to Unicode – Morten Kromberg

The defining feature of Dyalog Version 12.0 is support for Unicode character data. Unicode is an industry standard allowing computers to consistently represent and manipulate text expressed in any of the world's writing systems. It assigns a number, or code point, to each of approximately 100,000 characters, including the APL character set.

The workshop will briefly introduce the new Unicode features, and then focus on the differences between the Classic and Unicode "editions" of Version 12.0. The Classic edition, which is upwards compatible with version 11.0, will continue to exist for an extended period to allow for an orderly migration. The workshop will discuss inter-operability between the editions, and offer suggestions on how to approach the issue of migrating applications to take advantage of the Unicode data.

Fast-track your GUI Design – Adrian Smith

This session is for anyone who feels that writing Graphical User Interfaces is a "necessary evil". Adrian claims to hate GUIs more than most, which is why Causeway Pro exists to make his life easier. From version 12.0, CPro is included with Dyalog APL. This session will get you started with the Designer, and will give you enough background to pick up the toolkit when you need to.

Prerequisites: Version 12.0, or CPro installed with an earlier version.

Using the Microsoft .NET Framework – John Daintree

Version 11.0 of Dyalog integrates comfortably with the Microsoft.NET Framework. This course will give an overview of, and show how you can take advantage of, the features included in the Framework itself, and in Visual Studio, Microsoft's cross-language development platform. John will show you how to find and understand documentation of the framework class libraries, and he will introduce you to some of the most useful classes. We will explore how to use the VS Form Designer to build forms which use APL code, and write APL classes which can be used from C# and VB.NET. The course will very briefly show how to call APL code from Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS).

Pre-requisites: Dyalog 11.0 or later, Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 (with SDK), ideally Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 or later.

Introduction to Object-Oriented Programming – Daniel Baronet

Version 11.0 of Dyalog introduced Classes to the APL language. This course takes a pragmatic APLers eye view of object orientation and after introducing a little OO theory, the focus of the course will be on showing how OO has been implemented in Dyalog. Some time will be spent creating classes and using them.

Pre-requisites: Dyalog 11.0 or later.

Web Creole – Stephen Taylor

APL is an excellent tool for creating web sites - both for "static" pages which simply consist of text files containing HTML, and "dynamic" pages where a Dyalog process is acting as a simple web server and responding to browser requests. The goal of this presentation is to teach the minimum set of skills that are required to cook a pleasant "Gumbo" using technology that is already well-known or easy for the average APL user to learn. No heavy machinery or magic is involved.

Pre-requisites: Conga/v12.0 (for the dynamic part of the workshop).

Abstracts - Tuesday

Conga & SSL Workshop – Morten Kromberg

Conga is a new tool which enables the easy construction of client/server and peer-to-peer applications. Conga is included with version 12.0, and from 12.0.3 it also includes support for "Secure Sockets", allowing the use of encrypted communication channels.

The tutorial will introduce Conga and some of the code samples which are included and makes it straightforward for Dyalog users to implement web client and server programs, and "remote procedure call" mechanisms.

RainPro Workshop – Adrian Smith

RainPro is a charting tool which is included with version 12.0. This workshop is primarily an opportunity for experienced RainPro users to share experiences and get their good ideas into the queue for next year. If you are not familiar with RainPro and wondering whether it would be useful to you, the workshop will provide an opportunity to see what some of the existing users have been doing with it.


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