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New The father of FORTRAN died.
[link|http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/19/obituaries/20cnd-backus.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin|NY Times]:

Published: March 19, 2007

John W. Backus, who assembled and led the I.B.M. team that created Fortran, the first widely used programming language, which helped open the door to modern computing, died on Saturday at his home in Ashland, Ore. He was 82.

His daughter Karen Backus announced the death, saying the family did not know the cause, other than age.

Fortran, released in 1957, was \ufffdthe turning point\ufffd in computer software, much as the microprocessor was a giant step forward in hardware, according to J. A. N. Lee, a leading computer historian.

Fortran changed the terms of communication between humans and computers, moving up a level to a language that was more comprehensible by humans. So Fortran, in computing vernacular, is considered the first successful higher-level language.


Things have changed so quickly... Imagine reading the obituary of the person who invented English.

New well if you outlive CRC :-)
Any opinions expressed by me are mine alone, posted from my home computer, on my own time as a free american and do not reflect the opinions of any person or company that I have had professional relations with in the past 51 years. meep

reach me at [link|mailto:bill.oxley@cox.net|mailto:bill.oxley@cox.net]
New FORTRAN (in all uppercase!) comprehensible by humans?!?
Interesting perspective. I can see the writer never tried to debug a FORMAT statement...or wrestled with the fact that an ENCODE statement decodes, and a DECODE statement encodes....
"It's hard for me, you know, living in this beautiful White House, to give you a firsthand assessment."
George W. Bush, when asked if he believed Iraq was in a state of civil war (Newsweek, 26 Feb 07)
Expand Edited by jb4 March 20, 2007, 02:12:33 PM EDT
Expand Edited by jb4 March 20, 2007, 02:13:26 PM EDT
New And don't get me started on COMMON blocks
Actually - for number crunching it was tops - better than C or C++. But for structured programming it was kind of awful. Computed gotos? ICK! And no dynamic allocation. We had 3 images for everything laying around - small, medium, and large. Sizes referred to static array allocation sizes.

Yes I did get my start hacking F77 on VAX/VMS systems.

No, I don't miss it at all.


Impeach, Indict, Incarcerate, Inject
Bush, Cheney, Gonzalez, Rumsfeld, Rove, Rice
New That's too common
I did a bit of FORTRAN programming on HP1000 real time minis (crunching some curves).
New It's all relative!
Work much with assemblers? That pretty much was the other choice in those days. Ever try to port an assembler program to another architecture?

He was pioneer. And, he didn't stop with FORTRAN. He was the primary inventor of the [link|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Backus-Naur_form|Backus-Naur form] for expressing the syntax and semantics of computer languages. He first used it in defining [link|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Algol_language|ALGOL].

When fascism comes to America, it'll be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross. -- Sinclair Lewis
     The father of FORTRAN died. - (Another Scott) - (5)
         well if you outlive CRC :-) -NT - (boxley)
         FORTRAN (in all uppercase!) comprehensible by humans?!? - (jb4) - (3)
             And don't get me started on COMMON blocks - (tuberculosis) - (1)
                 That's too common - (tonytib)
             It's all relative! - (a6l6e6x)

It's a lot less messy in here when Karsten's absent...
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