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Fortran language

Posted on 2015-04-09
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Hello,

I've heard many times that Fortran is a programming language still usefull, even so it is more than fifty years old. Also I 've read that it was mainly applied to IBM mainframes for bank and finance businesses,

Is it still in that way? Is it only used for banks and for programming mainframes?
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Question by:miyahira
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Bill Prew earned 668 total points
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Yes, Fortran has been around a long time, I remember doing much of my college mathematics work in that language m-a-n-y years ago.

I don't think it's heavily used today, and not in banks, I would expect COBOL would be the old language you might see there still in use.

I think Fortran is still used in academic settings, as well as high performance computation applications.  Yes, I would expect it to be mostly on mainframes and supercomputers, doing large number crunching or scientific applications.

~bp
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by:Bill Prew
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by:Joe Winograd, EE Fellow 2017, MVE 2016, MVE 2015
Joe Winograd, EE Fellow 2017, MVE 2016, MVE 2015 earned 668 total points
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Fortran (which I always thought is an acronym for FORmula TRANslator, but Wikipedia thinks is FORmula TRANslating System) and Algol were the first two languages I learned in 1966, running on a Univac 1107 — ah, good times! Yes, Fortran was used on IBM mainframes (and other mainframes of the times, such as the BUNCH — Burroughs, Univac, NCR, Control Data, Honeywell), but it was not used heavily in banks/finance — that was the province of COBOL. Fortran was used primarily in scientific environments.

Fortran is still used today and there are even PC compilers for it. Here's an interesting thread about it at the Physics Forums:
https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/best-fortran-compiler-for-windows-7.465593/

Thanks for the trip down memory lane! Regards, Joe
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by:scriven_j
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Last time I came across Fortran was in 1992 during work experience at Seismograph Services Limited (which no longer exists).  I used it to write a game that guessed your animal and learned each time it guessed incorrectly during the periods when I was sitting around waiting for a new piece of work!  I think it was running on Vax VMS.

 A quick search of the job sites shows a handful of jobs still exist with that as a requirement so it's definitely out there, but just supporting legacy systems I would imagine.  I don't think it is a bad language, it has just been superseded by C++ and other languages in the scientific arena.
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