Saturday, September 20, 2014

Computer History Museum | This Day in History: September 20: First FORTRAN Program Runs

September 20, 1954 -- John Backus later became a pioneering advocate for functional programming; he died in 2007

"First FORTRAN Program Runs

The first successful FORTRAN program runs. FORTRAN, which is an acronym for "FORmula TRANslator," was invented at IBM by a group led by John Backus. FORTRAN's purpose was to simplify the programming process by allowing the programmer ("coder") to use simple algebra-like expressions when writing software. It also took over the task of keeping track of where instructions were kept in memory--a very laborious and error-prone procedure when undertaken by humans. FORTRAN is still in use today in scientific and engineering applications, making it one of the oldest programming languages still in use (COBOL is another). Backus was named a Computer History Museum Fellow in 1997."
Computer History Museum | Exhibits | This Day in History: September 20

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