Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The invention of FORTRAN programming by John Backus

In 1953 John W. Backus (1924-2007) IBM scientist proposed the advanced programming language. He began work on a simple programming language that would in 1954 become the Mathematical Formula Translating System (FORTRAN). It was announced by IBM in 1957.

John W. Backus
FORTRAN has been the main language for scientific computing since the origin of computing. The first FORTRAN compiler was a milestone in the history of computing; at that time computers had very small memories, they were slow and had very primitive operating system.

FORTRAN quickly caught on among scientists and engineers; by 1958, half the machine instructions at sixty IBM installations were produced through FORTAN, rather than machine code.

In 1958 FORTRAN II (followed the same year by FORTRAN III) was a significant improvement; it added the capability for separate compilation of programme modules. Further development yielded FORTRAN, then FORTRAN-90, FORTRAN-95 and FORTRAN-2000.
The invention of FORTRAN programming by John Backus
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