Why use BQN?

There are plenty of clean, modern languages out there, and a good number of array languages. I don't think any other language fits both descriptions quite so well as BQN, and I find the combination lets me write powerful and reliable programs quickly. What you find in the language will depend on your background.

If you haven't yet used an array language, BQN will present you with new ways of thinking that can streamline the way you work with data and algorithms. There's no denying that array programming has begun to creep into the mainstream, and you might be wondering if BQN has anything to offer when you can hack reduces and filters with the best of them. It does: real array programming is different in character, with more and better array operations on immutable multidimensional arrays, and syntax better suited to them. Performance that resembles a low-level compiled language more than a high-level dynamic one. Primitives flow together and compose better—one aspect that sets BQN apart from other array languages is a set of combinators that's more intuitive than previous attempts. I also happen to think BQN's character arithmetic system would improve just about any language.

If your favorite language is J, you are missing out even more! Array programmers never seem willing to accept that good ideas can come from people other than Iverson and that legends like John McCarthy and Barbara Liskov advanced human knowledge of how to express computation. They did, and being able to casually pass around first-class functions and mutable closures, with namespaces keeping everything organized, is a huge quality of life improvement. Writing APL again is claustrophobic, the syntax worries and constraints in functionality suddenly rushing back. BQN's mutable objects make methods such as graph algorithms that just don't have a good array implementation (no, your O(n³) matrix method doesn't scale) possible, even natural. With bytecode compilation and NaN-boxing, a natural fit for the based array model, it evaluates that scalar code many times faster than APL or J. The Unix-oriented scripting system stretches seamlessly from quick sketch to multi-file program.

BQN has no intention of being the last word in programming, but could be a practical and elegant tool in your kit—even if only used to inform your use of another language. Give it a try!