Short for A Programming Language,a programming language noted for its ability to generate matrixes -- data elements presented in rows and columns -- and its brevity. The language shortens programs by including loops, or repeated functions, within its fundamental instructions. Created in the early 1960s by Ken Inverson, the language once used only a non-standard character set, including some Greek, but now can be expressed with ISO standardized characters. The language is used on both small computers and mainframes.
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