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Happy 60th birthday, Fortran

Posted by jpluimers on 2017/11/15

I remember a FORTRAN IV (or was it 66?) course during my chemistry studies at the end of the 1980s. Luckily, the VAX/VMS version (not sure which one, it ran on a VAX 11/750) where we had to program on came with an extended FORTRAN 77 compiler even supporting 132 columns and other nice features.

My favourite program was about an algorithm to assemble 3 tables (one relating atom numbers and their valencies, a second with atom-atom distances, a third with 3-D atom positions) into a chemical compound indicating any rings. I implemented my own recursion with stacks citing a Dire Straits song with “and when you finally reappear, at the place where you came in…”.

Later I ported this to a PC reviewing the Microsoft FORTRAN 5.1 compiler for the Dutch PCM (Personal Computer Magazine). Recently I learned Lahey had a big role in the Fortran.NET compiler.

This year FORTRAN turned 60 years old and it is still in used, though not as heavily as a few decades ago.

The Fortran compiler, introduced in April 1957, was the first optimizing compiler, and it paved the way for many technical computing applications over the years. What Cobol did for business computing, Fortran did for scientific computing. Fortran may be approaching retirement age, but that doesn’t mean it’s about to stop working. This year marks the 60th anniversary of the first Fortran (then styled “FORTRAN,” for “FORmula TRANslation”) release.

Source: [WayBack] Happy 60th birthday, Fortran.

Via [Archive.is] Happy 60th birthday, Fortran – ThisIsWhyICode – Google+

Historic references:

–jeroen

One Response to “Happy 60th birthday, Fortran”

  1. jpluimers said

    Uwe Raabe learned FORTRAN not too long ago: https://plus.google.com/+JeroenPluimers/posts/ZHQJgnSJs8n

    Uwe Raabe
    I wrote my latest Fortran program earlier this year!

    Jeroen Wiert Pluimers
    +Uwe Raabe what was it for?

    Uwe Raabe
    +Jeroen Wiert Pluimers Implementing algorithms for scientific calculations where the examples came in Fortran and had to be adapted to our needs. (A whole lot of scientific software is probably still written in Fortran these days.) The Fortran code mostly served as a reference for the following implementation in Delphi.

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