from the Get-Off-My-Extremely-Efficient-Lawn dept.
Ars technica looks at Fortran, and some new number crunching languages in Scientific computing's future: Can any coding language top a 1950s behemoth?
This state of affairs seems paradoxical. Why, in a temple of modernity employing research instruments at the bleeding edge of technology, does a language from the very earliest days of the electronic computer continue to dominate? When Fortran was created, our ancestors were required to enter their programs by punching holes in cardboard rectangles: one statement per card, with a tall stack of these constituting the code. There was no vim or emacs. If you made a typo, you had to punch a new card and give the stack to the computer operator again. Your output came to you on a heavy pile of paper. The computers themselves, about as powerful as today's smartphones, were giant installations that required entire buildings.