Q'Nial is a highly portable interpreter for Nial originally developed
at Queen's University, Kingston, Canada in the early 1980s.
Nial Systems Limited was set up in 1982 to market Q'Nial on behalf of the University.
Q'Nial was used both commerically and in academia for a wide variety of applications.
In 2001, the University transferred the intellectual property rights of Q'Nial to Mike Jenkins, who has
decided to make the technology openly available.
Q'Nial is a programming system for rapid prototyping of problems involving
extensive data manipulation, data analysis and/or inferencing. The Nested interactive
Array Language, Nial, incorporates
ideas from APL2, LISP, FP and structured programming languages like Pascal.
The language uses one form of data structure, nested rectangular arrays, for
all data types. Q'Nial has been used for applications in decision support, knowledge
based systems, scientific computing and data analysis.
Programming in Q'Nial for Windows is done by interacting with a Session Manager which
accepts actions from the user and executes them. The Session Manager uses a
scrolling window, in which the result of the computation is also displayed.
There may be more than one such window, and there are also text editing windows that are used to
develop definitions and programs.
The results of computations are displayed as data diagrams showing the data
of the result in a structured way. The diagrams give immediate feedback on the
effect of operations or definitions in development on trial data. Programming
in this style is very effective because the code being developed is checked
as you go along.
In Console versions of Q'Nial, the interaction takes place in an implicit loop that accepts
actions and displays results. These versions can be given a definition file to be executed on startup.
Last Modified: Nov 2006