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Meaning of NPL

Computing Dictionary

1. New Programming Language. IBM's original (temporary) name for PL/I, changed due to conflict with England's "National Physical Laboratory." MPL and MPPL were considered before settling on PL/I. Sammet 1969, p.542.

2. A functional language with pattern matching designed by Rod Burstall and John Darlington in 1977. The language allowed certain sets and logic constructs to appear on the right hand side of definitions, E.g.

        setofeven(X) <= <:x: x in X & even(x) :>

The NPL interpreter evaluates the list of generators from left to right so conditions can mention any bound variables that occur to their left. These were known as set comprehensions. NPL eventually evolved into hope but lost set comprehensions which were called list comprehensions in later functional languages.

[John Darlington, "Program Transformation and Synthesis: Present Capabilities", Research Report No. 77/43, Dept. of Computing and Control, Imperial College of Science and Technology, London September 1977.]

3. NonProcedural Language. A relational database language developed by T.D. Truitt et al in 1980 for apple ii and ms-dos.

["An Introduction to Nonprocedural Languages Using NPL", T.D. Truitt et al, McGraw-Hill 1983].