When comparing APL vs Swift, the Slant community recommends Swift for most people. In the question“What is the best programming language to learn first?” Swift is ranked 30th while APL is ranked 57th.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
No complicated loop processing to apply a function to a array of arrays. Functions are defined in a way that they will typically operate the same way on any number of array dimensions. This, along with the clear syntax, leads to very compact code that can be comprehended in a single line, rather than spread out over many pages.
Pro Clear syntax
There is no operator precedence to memorize, as everything is evaluated right-to-left. E.g., in APL 3*10+3 = 39. You do have to type in some otherwise unusual characters, such as ↓ and ∊, but those are easy enough to pick up -- and they have the advantage of being easily remembered once understood, as they often have some connection to common mathematical symbols.
You can seriously implement Conway's Game of Life in one line. There's a reason we do algebra with symbols instead of story problems. APL is good as a language of thought, since you can hold entire algorithms in your head at once.
Pro Modern syntax
Pro Swift is closer to other platforms
Apple’s modern programming language is easier to understand for non-iOS developers and minimizes time for additional explanations and clarifications. Moreover, Swift can be used as a script language. It is an interesting solution for the iOS community to unify writing of build scripts. At the time being iOS developers are split up in regard to this activity. Some of them write build scripts in Bash, others use Ruby, Python, etc. Swift gives an amazing opportunity to be applied to all iOS programming needs.
More details can be found here https://mlsdev.com/blog/51-7-advantages-of-using-swift-over-objective-c
Pro Works with Apple's Cocoa and Cocoa Touch frameworks
Pro Can be used as a Just-In-Time language
Pro Inherent parallelism
Pro Low memory footprint due to reference counting
Pro Backed by Apple
Pro Performance speed comparable to native C
Pro Swift has some clever tricks up its sleeve
Due to having elements of a functional programming language. Things like 'map' and 'filter' for example.
Pro Uses LLVM compiler and Obj-C runtime allowing C, Objective-C, Objective-C++ and Swift code to run side by side within a single program
Con Does not prepare you for most of the practical programming languages of today
While APL does have a strong use in certain areas (mostly mathematically intensive applications), it is a Domain-Specific language. That along with the fact that its syntax is not similar to C-like or other common syntax forms means that learning APL and expecting it to help you with learning other languages is like learning Calculus and expecting it to make English easier.
APL symbols are only used by APL. You have to learn how to type them and how to read them. It doesn't work well with standard text editors , version control systems, search engines, or web forums. This makes it difficult for a beginner to find help.
Con Write-only language
Maybe you can learn to read it with experience. And an interpreter. Reading APL is like reading a college math book. You might have to study a single line for fifteen minutes to understand what it's doing. And that's if you're an expert at APL. This also applies if you wrote it yourself more than a month ago. hopefully you have comments.
Con Flawless diamond
You can't extend the language itself. (J does this better.) Of course, what's built in is quite powerful.
Con Swift is a moving target
They've released 1.2 so far, and 2.0 is coming soon. Every small update brings adjustments to paradigms (such as how to do type casting) that can be a little frustrating to absorb. Objective C was also constantly updating, however, but not at the same rate these days.