Codes that Changed the World: Fortran

Before Fortran there was no poetry in programming

The BBC are doing a a very interesting radio series on programming languages called Codes that Changed the World, starting with this one on Fortran.

I learned Fortran 77 at university as part of my maths degree. What most sticks in my memory are the dreadful videos we were made to watch featuring a male programmer trying to explain concepts to his dumb girlfriend. That we found the videos offensive goes without saying. I (and many others) stopped going to the lectures and taught ourselves using the text book.

What really puzzled me was why they showed the videos in the first place. Even the lecturer used to apologise for them, saying they were dreadfully old fashioned, but they can’t have been that old. I went to university in 1984. Now, when did Fortran 77 come out, I wonder?

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