Fortran Programming Language Profile

Fortran

Fortran (Formula translation) is a multi-paradigm programming language invented by John Backus of IBM in the 1950s. It is particularly notable for innovation; it was the first high-level language, using the first compiler.

The language is designed to be simple to understand, yet retains the efficiency in execution as assembly language – about 80% as efficient as assembly/machine code. Fortran is machine independent, and a problem oriented language. It is often used in the scientific community, particularly among physicists, and is designed for scientific numerical computing. Fortran allows for high parallelization, it is easy to optimize, and lends itself particularly well to computationally intensive fields such as finite element analysis, numerical weather prediction, computational physics, computational chemistry, and computational fluid dynamics.

Fortran has evolved over time, with various standards including Fortran IV, Fortran 77, Fortran 90 and Fortran 95. More recent revisions are Fortran 2003, and Fortran 2008. Since Fortran 9x, it has many structured programming features, dynamic memory, operator overloading, and primitive objects. It is both the language of the past, the current, and the future (high-performance computing is unlikely to cast aside Fortran). Despite its age, Fortran is still very much alive and kicking. Fortran has a vast number of libraries of code.


FACTS

Type of Language: Multi-paradigm: structured, imperative, generic
Designed by: John Backus
Public Release: 1957
License:
Website:


RECOMMENDED OPEN SOURCE BOOKS

Fortran Books


OPEN SOURCE SOFTWARE FOR DEVELOPERS

Awesome Fortran – A curated list of Fortran frameworks, libraries and software.
gfortran – A free Fortran 95/2003/2008 compiler for GCC, the GNU Compiler Collection.
GNU Fortran – The Fortran compiler front end and run-time libraries for GCC, the GNU Compiler Collection.
G95 – A stable, production Fortran 95 compiler available for multiple cpu architectures and operating systems.
DISLIN – A high-level plotting library for displaying data as curves, polar plots, bar graphs, pie charts, 3D-color plots, surfaces, contours and maps.


USEFUL RESOURCES

Clive Page’s list of Fortran Resources
Fortran Wiki – Discuss all aspects of the Fortran programming language and scientific computing.


RECOMMENDED BOOK TO BUY

Modern Fortran in Practice

PROGRAMMING LANGUAGE PROFILES

Ada, Awk, Assembly, Bash, C, C++, C#, Clojure, CoffeeScript, ECMAScript, Erlang, Forth, Fortran, Go, Haskell, HTML, Java, JavaScript, LaTeX, Lisp, Logo, Lua, OCaml, Pascal, Perl, PHP, Prolog, Python, R, Ruby, Rust, Scala, Scheme, Scratch, SQL, Swift, TeX, VimL