Glossary

Ambivalent function
A function that may be applied to either one or two arguments; i.e. has both unary and binary applications, e.g. deltas.
Derivatives, each-prior, over
A primitive higher-order function that returns a derivative (derived function) Adverbs
Aggregate function
A function that reduces its argument, typically a list to an atom, e.g. sum
Apply
As in apply a function to its arguments: pass to a function the value of its arguments for evaluation. A function is applied to an argument list, e.g. {x+y*z}[3;4;5]. A unary function can be applied by juxtaposition, e.g. count 3 4 5. An operator can also be applied by infix, e.g. 2+3, 2 rotate 3 4 5. application
Argument, argument list
A value passed to a function. In 3+4 the arguments are 3 and 4, respectively the left- and right-arguments. In {x+y*z}[3;4;5] the three arguments are separated by semicolons and bracketed: [3;4;5] is an argument list.
Atom
A single instance of a datatype, eg 42, "a", 1b, 2012.09.15. The type of an atom is always negative.
Atomic function
An atomic function is a uniform function such that for r:f[x] r[i]~f x[i] is true for all i, e.g. signum. A function f of higher rank is atomic if f is identical to f'.
Binary function
A function with rank 2, i.e. that takes 2 arguments, e.g. +, rotate
Conform
Lists, dictionaries and tables conform if they are either atoms or have the same count
Control word
Control words interrupt the usual evaluation rules, e.g. by omitting expressions, terminating evaluation
Count
The number of items in a list, keys in a dictionary or rows in a table. The count of an atom is 1
Derivative
The derived function returned by an adverb. Derivatives
Dictionary
A map of a list of keys to a list of values
Domain
The domain of a function is the complete set of possible values of its argument.
Interactive Mathematics
Enumeration
A representation of a list as indexes of the items in its nub or another list.
enum
Infix
Writing an operator between its arguments, e.g.
2+3 applies + to 2 and 3
Item, list item
A member of a list
Juxtaposition
Literally, ‘putting beside’. Juxtaposing a list with a list or atom indexes the former with the latter, e.g. "abcde"1 4 3. Juxtaposing a unary function and a noun applies the former to the latter, e.g. til 5. “Indexing is application.”
Keyed table
A table of which one or more columns have been defined as its key. A table’s key/s (if any) are supposed to be distinct: updating the table with rows with existing keys overwrites the previous records with those keys. A table without keys is a simple table.
Lambda
A function defined in the lambda notation
Lambda notation
The notation in which functions are defined: an optional signature followed by a list of expressions, separated by semicolons, and all embraced by curly braces, e.g.
{[a;b](a*a)+(b*b)+2*a*b}.
List
An array of one dimension, its items indexed by position
Matrix
A list in which all items are lists of the same count
Noun
A syntactic class applicable to data structures: atom, list, dictionary and table, but also lambda, functions and adverbs when treated as such, e.g. count(+;rotate;/)
Nub
The distinct items of a list
Operator
A primitive binary function that may be applied infix as well as prefix, e.g. +, rotate
Peaceful function
A lambda without a signature specifying argument names, e.g. {x*x}.
No Need to Argue
Postfix
Applying an adverb to its argument by writing it to the right, e.g. +/ applies / to +. (But for an operator, see projection.)
Prefix
Applying a function to its argument/s by writing it to the left of them, e.g. +[2;3] applies + to [2;3]
Primitive
Defined in the q language, not by the programmer
Project, projection
A function passed fewer arguments than its rank projects those arguments and returns a projection: a function of the unspecified argument/s. Projection
Range
The range of a function is the complete set of all its possible resulting values.
Interactive Mathematics
Rank
Of a function, the number of arguments it takes. For a lambda, the count of arguments in its signature, or, where the signature is omitted, by the here highest-numbered of the three default argument names x (1), y (2) and z (3) used in the function definition, e.g. {x+z} has rank 3.
Of a list, the depth to which it is nested. A vector has rank 1.
Reference
Pass by reference means passing the name of an object (as a symbol atom) as an argument to a function, e.g. key .q.
Signature
The list of up to 8 argument names that (optionally) begins a lambda, e.g. in {[a;b](a*a)+(b*b)+2*a*b}, the argument list [a;b] is the signature
Simple table
A table with no key/s defined; i.e. not a keyed table
String
There is no string datatype in q. “String” in q means a char vector, e.g. "abc".
Table
A list of uniform dictionaries that have the same domain
Unary function
A function with rank 1, i.e. that takes 1 argument, e.g. count
Uniform function
A uniform function f such that count[x]~count f x, e.g. deltas
Value
Pass by value means passing an object (not its name) as an argument to a function, e.g. key .q`.
Vector
A uniform list of basic types that has a special shorthand notation. A char vector is known as a string.
x
Default name of the first or only argument of a peaceful function
y
Default name of the second argument of a peaceful function, or right-argument to an operator
z
Default name of the third argument of a peaceful function