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Fortran

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FORTRAN, originally formulated by IBM in 1954 but didn't have a compiler till 1957 after spending 18 worker-years of effort. The compiler when released featured no separate compilation and programs over 400 lines of code would never compile. FORTRAN itself was designed to limit variable names to six characters and no types - I,J,K,L,M and N were ints. Others were float, because real programmers only need 6 integers in a program.

Hello World in FORTRAN!

    
 program hello_world
      implicit none
c
      character*32 text
c
      text = 'Hello World'
      write (*,*) text
c
      end

History

FORTRAN uses a six space dependence stemming from the punch card days, but is still featured in newer versions. The developers of FORTRAN, being the mentors to the developers of Python, decided that programmers were not responsible enough to properly indent their code and continued using the six space dependence.

"FORTRAN, the infantile disorder, by now nearly 20 years old, is hopelessly inadequate for whatever computer application you have in mind today: it is too clumsy, too risky, and too expensive to use." ~ Edsger Dijkstra

“In the good old days, physicists repeated each other’s experiments, just to be sure. Today they stick to Fortran, so that they can share each others program, bugs included.” ~ Edsger Dijkstra


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Fortran is part of a series on Programming.

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