Fortran Language: In 1957 an IBM team led by John Backus designed the first successful high-level programming language, FORTRAN, for solving engineering and science problems. The name of the language was derived from FORmula TRANslation, since its original purpose was to help scientists state mathematical problems for machine solution. It is by far a widely used programming language, particularly among those engaged in quantitative research. Fortunately, the Fortran language has not remained static since 1957. Fortran IV was first introduced by IBM in the early 1960's and still exists in a number of similar dialects on machines from various manufacturers. A standard version was defined by American Standards Association in 1966, and called Fortran 66 [ANSI X3.9-1966]. Fortran 77 the standardized version of Fortran, ANSI X3.9-1978 is defined by American National Standards Institute in 1977-78. Fortran 90 is approved in 1991 by ANSI [American National Standards institute] and ISO [International Standards Organization].

by Ramamohanarao Paleti [Back to Timeline]