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From   "Lachenbruch, Peter" <>
To   "''" <>
Subject   RE: st: Re: FORTRAN
Date   Tue, 31 Aug 2010 08:06:19 -0700

Not an acronym, but it stood for FORmula TRANslation when I first learned in the 1960s

Your friendly graybeard,


Peter A. Lachenbruch
Department of Public Health
Oregon State University
Corvallis, OR 97330
Phone: 541-737-3832
FAX: 541-737-4001

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf Of Nick Cox
Sent: Tuesday, August 31, 2010 2:11 AM
To: ''
Subject: RE: st: Re: FORTRAN

Richard makes the point I wanted to make. 

As a side issue -- and declaring a history as another ex-Fortran programmer (for a while it was my only language...) -- FORTRAN was born that way, with an all caps name, in the style of the times. But as the name is not an acronym, Fortran is now standard spelling. 


Richard Williams

At 03:38 PM 8/30/2010, Michael I. Lichter wrote:
>1. I second Tony's advice that you don't want to take the time to 
>learn FORTRAN (an ancient and nearly-dead language that I last 
>programmed in nearly 30 (!) years ago) if you can avoid it. Hire 
>somebody to help if at all possible.

FORTRAN was old when the world was young.  Several billion people 
have been born and died since I last used it.  But according to 
Wikipedia, FORTRAN itself continues to thrive and prosper.  Among 
other things, Wikipedia says

"Since Fortran has been in use for more than fifty years, there is a 
vast body of Fortran in daily use throughout the scientific and 
engineering communities. It is the primary language for some of the 
most intensive supercomputing tasks, such as weather and climate 
modeling, computational fluid dynamics, computational chemistry, 
computational economics, plant breeding and computational physics. 
Even today, half a century later, many of the floating-point 
benchmarks to gauge the performance of new computer processors are 
still written in Fortran (e.g., CFP2006, the floating-point component 
of the SPEC CPU2006 benchmarks)."

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