Short for Formula Translation, Fortran was one of the first programming languages, and the oldest programming language still in use today. Development of Fortran was begun in 1954 by John Backus and members of the IBM team. The reference manual was made public on October 15, 1956, and the first compiler was released to customers in 1957.
Below is a brief history of Fortran.
- FORTRAN - 1954
- FORTRAN II - 1958
- FORTRAN III - 1958 (Never released to public.)
- FORTRAN IV - 1961
- FORTRAN 66 - 1972
- FORTRAN 77 - 1980
- Fortran 90 - 1991
- Fortran 95 - 1997
- Fortran 2003 - Published as ISO/IEC in 2004.
- Fortran 2008 - Published as ISO/IEC in September 2010.
- Fortran 2018 - Formerly known as Fortran 2015, Fortran 2018 is still in development.
Should I use "Fortran" or "FORTRAN" in my writing?
According to the Microsoft Manual of Style you should not use all uppercase "FORTRAN" and it should never be spelled out as "Formula Translation." If you're writing about versions of FORTRAN before Fortran 90, use FORTRAN in your writing. However, if you're writing about Fortran in general, or writing about more recent versions of Fortran, capitalize only the first letter.