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Valued Contributor

Kenneth E. IversonKenneth E. IversonThe kdb+ system underlying KX technology is founded on the vector notation developed at Harvard and IBM by Canadian mathematician Ken Iverson.

If you are used to SQL or ‘scalar’ languages such as C, Java, or Python, the q programming language does a great deal to ease your approach to vector operations. You can get a lot done without giving much thought to vectors. But if you need a firm grip on the legendary speed of kdb+, you will want to master its vector operations. 

Fluent vector coders write fast expressions of shocking brevity. Our awe at what they do has led to people calling them “the q gods”. The phrase honors the skill but locates it beyond our reach: we humans can only shake our heads in wonder. The best-known textbook for q has the consoling title Q for Mortals

Iverson must be spinning in his grave. He was adamant that his way of thinking about data structures and operations is not difficult, merely unfamiliar. Vector programming is not reserved to deities. Like any language, q yields to study and practice. 

Articles and posts here with the #vectordojo tag will study vector solutions to simple problems, and explore the shift in thinking that discovers them.


KX Librarian

PS: Yes, I know how Prometheus was rewarded. SJT