FORTRAN Celebrates 50th Anniversary
Fortran, the first high level programming language, celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. Before Fortran, programming was done either in machine codes or in assemblers using symbolic codes. In fact, this process was called coding, not programming. Only Fortran gave birth the profession of Programmer.
In the USSR, Fortran was initially incorporated in the software for Minsk32, the secondgeneration computer that was widely utilized by ÑÌÅÀ (Council for Mutual Economic Assistance) countries. Minsk32 FORTRAN developed by the Scientific Research Computer Institute (NIIEVM) used the international Fortran language standard and had debugging tools. The language translator provided a fairly precise diagnosis for syntax errors. This programming system was very popular with the users of Minsk32, and Soviet research organizations began using it even before the State Commission authorized its serial production.
Since 1970, NIIEVM developed a number of FORTRAN versions for ES EVM, the universal computer compatible with IBM S/360 and S/370. Basic FORTRAN and FORTRAN IV were available for DOS ES. Leading NIIEVM specialists participated in the FORTRAN's standardization under ISO.
Further development of the language standard and the release of new operating systems for ES EVM caused the creation of several versions of such programming systems as FORTRAN Standard, FORTRAN Extended, and FORTRAN Optimizing. The latest releases provided interactive operating and debugging tools with timesharing and ES virtual machine systems. In 1985, NIIEVM developed the first in the USSR FORTRAN 77 system based on Fortran 77 standards.
When ES PC compatible with IBM PC appeared, NIIEVM performed the adaptation of MS DOS Fortran to ES PC.
NIIEVM specialists wrote five books on FORTRAN, some of these running through several editions. At present, many of the developers of local FORTRAN compilers and programming systems continue working in IBA.