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FORTRAN is a procedural programming language developed in the 1950s, but still in use today. FORTRAN is used for computation of heavy tasks such as scientific and engineering modeling. The name FORTRAN is a contraction of IBM Mathematical Formula Translating System.


John Backus at IBM was the main force behind the construction of FORTRAN, as Backus was tired of having to program everything in assembly language. In 1957, a FORTRAN compiler was published and by 1965 the language was used extensively. FORTRAN is considered the oldest still popular high level programming language. The original version of the language was very inconvenient to program in, mostly due to the limited resources of that time's computers, but was still a huge improvement over assembler. Later the newer revisions of the language's ANSI standard have updated the language (FORTRAN 66, 70, 90, 95, 2003) to meet modern expectations and needs.