- Fortran in 2007
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Fortran Specialist Group
It was sad but perhaps appropriate that in the Golden Jubilee year of the release by IBM of the first FORTRAN compiler, John W. Backus, "who built and led the IBM team that created Fortran, the first widely used programming language, which helped to open the door to modern computing", died on Saturday 17 March 2007 at his home in Ashland, Oregon. He was 82.
"Fortran, released in 1957, 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 to be the first successful high- level language."
John Backus, centre, with Alex Stepanov, left, and
Paul McJones, right, both of Adobe Systems Inc, in February 2004
Photograph courtesy of Paul McJones, editor of the Fortran pages on the website of the Computer History Museum, Mountain View, California.
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Last modified: Sat 29 Dec 2012 15:32:13