Fortran is a programming language that is oriented and adapted for numerical applications and scientific computing.
With Fortran, modern programming was born. Through it, concepts such as scientific computing, or code complication, among others, have been put into practice.
The origin of this programming language dates back to 1954, and is attributed to John Backus, an experienced American computer scientist who belonged to the IBM company.
His proposal focused on launching a programming language whose objective was to translate different mathematical formulas into code that a computer could understand in a simple and accessible way.
As a curiosity, this computer specialist was working on a previous project called SSEC (Selective Sequence Electronic Calculator) to get this program to calculate the positions of the moon.
At the time of presentation, there were some reluctance, since all were accustomed to their predecessor, the assembly language that emerged in 1949.
But soon the general perception changed since there were many advantages that Fortran used to use. It was considered as a high-level programming language, which managed to translate entire programs without having to do it manually as with its predecessors. In addition, its use was simpler, not as restrictive as the previous existing programming languages.
One of the things that revolutionized the world of programming was the fact that it could allow the code to be written faster, and also did not require such specialized professionals, which made it more accessible to anyone.
It is a language that has never stopped evolving. It has been changing over the years until arriving at Fortran 2018, which has included new features and improvements since its origin.
Fortran has served as inspiration and basis for the creation of other types of programming languages such as: Lisp (1958), COBOL (1959) or ALGOL (1958).
Without a doubt, it is one of the languages that are still taken into account when working with them, and that has served as information to create other aspects of derived programming based on it.
Advantages and disadvantages of Fortran
Its advantages include the following:
- Easier to learn than their predecessors.
- It is still used as one of the most prominent languages when performing numerical calculation.
- It is considered a revolution and the principle of modern programming.
- Its implementation, and the years of use have resulted in proven and efficient libraries that confirm its effectiveness as a programming language.
Its disadvantages must also be taken into account when it is used:
- It is a programming language in which there are no classes, or structures.
- It makes it impossible to make a dynamic memory reservation.
- For the process of texts, lists and data structures of a high degree of complexity, it is a somewhat primitive language.