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Institutionalization of FORTRAN: The Impact of FORTRAN Standardization

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000129436D
Original Publication Date: 1984-Jan-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Oct-06
Document File: 1 page(s) / 15K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

MARTIN N. GREENFIELD: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

Almost exactly five years after the delivery date of the first FORTRAN compiler, in May 1962 a committee was commissioned to develop a standard for the language. As we celebrate the 25th anniversary of FORTRAN S implementation, we can also celebrate the 20th anniversary of the start of its standardization. FORTRAN was the first language to become a national standard. Once formed, any standardization activity becomes the focal point for discussions of the plans, meaning, interpretation, revision, and extension of the language. In short, it is where the history of the language unfolds.

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THIS DOCUMENT IS AN APPROXIMATE REPRESENTATION OF THE ORIGINAL.

Copyright ©; 1984 by the American Federation of Information Processing Societies, Inc. Used with permission.

Institutionalization of FORTRAN: The Impact of FORTRAN Standardization*1

MARTIN N. GREENFIELD

(Image Omitted: Author's Address: M. N. Greenfield, Honeywell Information Systems, 300 Concord Road, Billerica, MA 01821.)

Almost exactly five years after the delivery date of the first FORTRAN compiler, in May 1962 a committee was commissioned to develop a standard for the language. As we celebrate the 25th anniversary of FORTRAN S implementation, we can also celebrate the 20th anniversary of the start of its standardization. FORTRAN was the first language to become a national standard. Once formed, any standardization activity becomes the focal point for discussions of the plans, meaning, interpretation, revision, and extension of the language. In short, it is where the history of the language unfolds.

Twenty years of events in the history of a language cannot be dealt with in a short talk. For those interested, I have tried to recount the chronology of FORTRAN standardization in my paper in the conference proceedings. In particular, I tried to supply the names of those deserving credit for their many contributions. I also discussed how we handled many of the problems encountered in that pioneering effort.

Instead of rattling into history, I would like to relate what I believe was the major impact of the standardization. Prior to standardization, there were relatively few FORTRAN implementations. Higher-level language usage was still considered just another tool. I believe standardization played an important and significant role in elevating that status. Standardization provided a ...