From The K Language Wiki

This page aims to cover in brief the history of the K dialects and their official implementations.

The original K specification[edit]

[1]Arthur Whitney left Morgan Stanley in 1992 to create a new language. Arthur Whitney formed Kx Systems jointly with Janet Lustgarten in 1993.

K2 and K3[edit]

K2 and K3 were the first commercially developed and supported versions of K made at Kx Systems. K3 came with a complete reference manual[2] that consisted of the documentation for the entire language. kdb+ was a database system that was sold along with K that provided an in-memory database manageable using K.


K4 was released in 200. In 2003, along with K4, Q was released as a "wrapper around k providing readability". K4 is the current commercial dialect supported by Kx Systems, which is bundled alongside Q as an implementation language. K4 requires a command to switch from Q to K, and the documentation at code.kx.com does not cover K4.

Shakti (K7,K9)[edit]

Arthur Whitney sold his majority stake in KX systems in 2018 and departed along with a few of his associates to create a new company called Shakti, along with which came the creation and development of the K7 and K9 dialects.

K7 was maintained for a few years and is no longer available for use.

K9 is currently nascent and (as per onsite claims)[3] supports fast processing of tables with row numbers in the billions and trillions. Binaries for K9 are available at shakti.com.