Programming Tutorials

Excellent Free Tutorials and Resources to Learn J

The J programming language, developed in the early 1990s by Kenneth E. Iverson and Roger Hui, is an array programming language based primarily on APL (also by Iverson). It’s available on a wide variety of computers and operating systems. J is distinguished by its simple and consistent rules, a large set of built-in capabilities, powerful facilities for defining new operations, and a general and systematic treatment of arrays.

The J system provides: an engine for executing J; various front ends that provide user interfaces to the J engine; a library, written in J, that provides an IDE (interactive development environment), numerous tools, utilities, demos, tutorials; and online documentation.

J is a very terse array programming language, and is most suited to mathematical and statistical programming, especially when performing operations on matrices. It has also been used in extreme programming and network performance analysis.

J supports function-level programming via its tacit programming features.

J is free and open-source software under the GNU General Public License version 3.


1. Easy-J by Linda Alvord and Norman Thomson

J is both a language and an exceptional programming package which provides a
highly concise notation for specifying much that is done routinely in the day to day
business of computing, such as sorting, searching, updating and restructuring data.

Read the tutorial


2. J Reference Card

This is an invaluable reference card.

Read the reference guide


3. A Brief J Reference by Chris Burke and Cliff Reiter

This brief reference gives informal descriptions of most of the J primitives.

Not every primitive is included and some idioms, examples and other resources have been added where appropriate.

Since the presentation is brief and informal, it is not a replacement for the main J references: the J Introduction and Dictionary, the J User manual and the J Primer.

Read the reference


If you want to learn more about J, check out our recommended free J books.

All tutorials in this series:

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