FORTRAN is the abbreviation of formula translation. It is the one of the oldest high level language and its first version was developed by International Business Machine Corporation for 704 computers in 1957. 704 computers were also developed by the IBM Corporation itself. FORTRAN was also a popular language of its time. After 1957 several updated versions were developed by the IBM Corporation. The original FORTRAN language was soon followed by FORTRAN II. As the time passed its more advanced version FORTRAN IV was developed. FORTRAN IV was the first programming language which was standardized and it is done by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) in 1966. One more property of FORTRAN was that programs written in FORTRAN IV could run in any computer and it did not matter in which computer the programs were actually written. In 1977 FORTRAN VI was developed and this version had some addition properties which were not in FORTRAN IV. The additional properties were character and file handling. FORTRAN VI was also known as FORTRAN 77. Subsequently, still more general purpose versions of the FORTRAN language FORTRAN 90 has been developed making FORTRAN a truly useful programming language.

FORTRAN was primarily developed for the evaluation of arithmetic and scientific oriented problems and was the most popular language of scientist and engineers during its time. But now FORTRAN language is not in use any more. This language is oriented towards the solving problems of mathematical and engineering nature. And this language has been designed as algebra based programming language. Any algebraic equation suppose a = b + c can be written as an instruction of FORTRAN. Example of a FORTRAN is given below:


Problem: Find Sum and Average of successive odd positive integers up to 80?
n = 0
DO 10 i = 1, 79, 2
n = n + 1
10        continue
av = n / ((79 – 1)/2 + 1)
write(*,*)’sum = ‘,n, average=’, av

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