J by Devon McCormick

 Devon introduces the J programming language, highlighting both its value as a practical tool and its theoretical basis as a functional, array-oriented notation. He provides a brief overview of the entire language and demonstrate how its simple, consistent syntax, combined with its powerful primitives, gives us an unparalleled tool for developing sophisticated algorithms. He illustrates how the language works with numerous code examples.


The J language is freely available and open-source. It runs on Windows, Linux, Mac, and iOS (though this is apparently a version crippled per Apple's policies). You are encouraged to download a copy so you can follow along: http://www.jsoftware.com/stable.htm.

There is also a beta version for Android:
http://www.jsoftware.com/jwiki/System/Installation/Android - but Devon has not had much success with this, though others have.

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  • Gregory S.

    Great intro to what appears to be a simple language. Its "denseness" comes from an initially-hard-to-understand grammar that involves monadic and dyadic operators (verbs). Although it seems simple to understand for the author, proving correctness of a J function for a newbie is much harder than the equivalent C#/Java function, due to its verbosity.

    1 · January 22, 2014

    • Gregory S.

      Devon, I vaguely remember you telling an anecdote of an expression that had a subtle error in it. Granted, logic errors happen all the time in {insert_language_here}, but for a J newbie, (and IMO) this would be harder in J compared to a more verbose language.

      January 25, 2014

    • Devon M.

      I understand why you would think that based on trying to figure out the problem with a static piece of code but the interactive environment mitigates problems of code density.

      January 25, 2014

  • Devon M.

    I will be annotating my slides on the J wiki - http://www.jsoftware.com/jwiki/DevonMcCormick/JTalk20140121 - as I find time - and I'm always open to questions.

    January 23, 2014

  • Gabriele Del P.

    Will there be a video capture of the presentation posted somewhere ? I could not come due to the snow.

    January 22, 2014

    • Pierre de L.

      Unfortunately the talk was not videotaped :-(

      January 22, 2014

  • Devon M.

    I've put my slides from the talk up on the J wiki at http://www.jsoftware.com/jwiki/DevonMcCormick/JTalk20140121 . I've started to annotate them but have only gotten as far as doing the first few.

    January 22, 2014

  • Cory R.

    Well organized great lecture. Cheers all around thank you again Devon!

    January 22, 2014

  • Muhammad

    This was my first intro to the J language. But by the end of the presentation, I had thought of a few practical uses to put it to in the fields of education,, etc. So, all in all, McCormick did a great job of introducing it as well as recommending further helpful resources to use in exploring the language further and deeper. Thank you. :)

    January 22, 2014

  • Bocheng Z.

    I can't go inside. Anybody here?

    January 21, 2014

  • Devon M.

    I'll give the talk if only one person shows up.

    6 · January 21, 2014

  • Cory R.

    Are we still on tonight despite anticipated snowfall?

    January 21, 2014

    • Pierre de L.

      Yes the meet up is still on. New Yorkers are hard core! :-)

      1 · January 21, 2014

  • Hongchang W.

    Start the new year with a new language!

    January 4, 2014

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