Howdy Logo
Glossary Hero image

The Howdy Glossary

Search terms in Glossary


Nial is an array-oriented, functional programming language. NIAL has been used in artificial intelligence research and expert systems. It was developed at Imperial College London by Rod Burstall and Joe Stoy in the late 1970s to early 1980s. NIAL is a descendant of APL but has added features for abstract data types, lazy evaluation, and nondeterminism. The language supports operators on arrays without explicit loops or iteration constructs, which can lead to more concise code for mathematical operations and formal specifications of algorithms. Although not widely adopted commercially, NIAL remains influential as an academic tool for teaching programming approaches beyond procedural languages like C or Java.