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FORTRAN Boz Before FORTRAN Machine language and assembly code. Programmers had many problems to overcome. Lack of instruction sets Primitive stream arrangements Extremely limited number representation Before FORTRAN Assembly and Machine required deep knowledge of how computers worked Looping was complicated and disorganized Few types, mainly int and char Programming was cryptic, as was debugging FORTRAN – FORmula TRANslator John Backus Designed originally for use with the IBM 704. The compiler was optimized Had many skeptics Much easier to learn then Machine code or Assembly FORTRAN – FORmula TRANslator Statically Typed Compiled (some iterations are still translated) Originally a spaghetti/procedural language (FORTRAN 66/77) Recent and current versions allow vector and object programming (FORTRAN 90/2003) Who Used it and Why? initially by programmers using highly numerical intensive programs. Once people recognized its effectiveness and ease of use, it quickly became the standard for all of IBM computers Other imperative languages were created, but FORTRAN became a What was so special about FORTRAN? Was the first “higher level” language Error checking was much clearer Instead of cryptic assembly or machine code, programmers could use algebraic notation FORTRAN organized looping and other complex data types Bibliography Backus, John. “The History of FORTRAN I, II, and III.” ACM SIGPLAN Notices 13.8 (1978): 165-180. Constable, George, ed. Understanding Computers: Computer Languages. Time-Life Books, Inc, 1986. “Fortran.” Wikipedia. 4 April. 2006. 4 April. 2006. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fortran> Horowitz, Ellis. Fundamentals of Programming Languages. Maryland: Computer Science Press, 1984. Sebesta, Robert. Concepts of Programming Languages. California: Cummings Publishing Company, Inc. 1989.
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