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2004-02-29-k4Visualize Context (requires Java Plug-in)
CREATED BY chris • LAST EDITED BY chris 4135 days AGO
Over the past few days I had the opportunity to take part in a series of workshop-esque K4/Kdb+ run-throughs by Arthur Whitney interwoven with presentations by Kx/First Derivatives customers as well as the 20th birthday party of the British APL Association. It's been great, and in no small part due to the people I met there.*

K4 truly looks like a practically optimal merger between array thinking and tables, resulting in the probably sharpest data blade ever having left a Palo Alto garage software forge. To paraphrase one attendee (answering the question whether he saw any need for third-party ETL tools in addition to K [he doesn't]), working with data in K is about as easy and natural as using your hands. Just a tad faster.

It's been stunning to see customers present those complex, multi-terabyte analytic systems in some cases built by a team of precisely 1, and one has to wonder how much more productive those people will be with K4.

To hear Arthur Whitney himself detail some of the thought he has put into the language, tell stories about its creation and his background, answer some never-asked questions and validate some long-held assumptions (as well as dispel some others ;-) was simply awesome.

In the meantime, the shiny new Vector web site has been unveiled, complete with Weblog and Wiki. You'll also find coverage of the mentioned events including supporting imagery there (don't ever miss the captions).

* The Kx crew (Arthur Whitney, Janet Lustgarten, Simon Garland), Eberhard Lutz (whom I finally got the chance to meet in person for the first time after having known him for a couple of years), Monsieur earl, co-traveller and co-explorer par excellence, a fair share of friendly APL folks (Stephen Taylor, Morten Kromberg and [create Ray Cannon]) as well as two students from Bolzano, Manuel Steiner and Patrick Zambelli.

Update: Eberhard has more images! Earl has another report!


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