The Perl Data Language (pronounced like "piddle"), a set of extensions to Perl allowing it to deal with vectors, matrices and the like directly. Underlying code is in C, allowing Perl to be used for scripting aspects while retaining speed.

In PDL, Perl scalars hold all objects (be they scalars, vectors, or higher tensors). It does for numerics what Perl does for text: anything which can be coded with PDL primitives runs fast. On the other hand, if you ever need to code something directly with Perl (such as "find the matrix row with the leftmost nonzero entry"), you can do so, but it will be slow.

To help implementation and use, PDL includes support for auto-generating C code to perform operations. With its concept of threading (quite distinct from lightweight processes!), PDL lets you write this code once and have it work in any (appropriate) dimension.

PDL is said to be akin to Python's numpy extension.

PD = P = PDP-10

PDL /P-D-L/, /pid'l/, /p*d'l/ or /puhd'l/

1. n. `Program Design Language'. Any of a large class of formal and profoundly useless pseudo-languages in which management forces one to design programs. Too often, management expects PDL descriptions to be maintained in parallel with the code, imposing massive overhead to little or no benefit. See also flowchart. 2. v. To design using a program design language. "I've been pdling so long my eyes won't focus beyond 2 feet." 3. n. `Page Description Language'. Refers to any language which is used to control a graphics device, usually a laserprinter. The most common example is, of course, Adobe's PostScript language, but there are many others, such as Xerox InterPress, etc. 4. In ITS days, the preferred MITism for stack. See overflow pdl. 5. Dave Lebling, one of the co-authors of Zork; (his network address on the ITS machines was at one time pdl@dms).

--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, this entry manually entered by rootbeer277.

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