Fortran

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For a programming language with a half-century legacy, FORTRAN not surprisingly has accumulated its share of jokes and folklore.

Quotes[edit]

  • As I said in my comments to the committee, [Fortran 90' would be a] nice language, too bad it's not Fortran.
  • In the good old days physicists repeated each other's experiments, just to be sure. Today they stick to FORTRAN, so that they can share each other's programs, bugs included.
    • Edsger W. Dijkstra, "How do we tell truths that might hurt?" (1975) EWD498. Published in ACM SIGPLAN Notices 17:5 (May 1982), pp. 13–15.
  • FORTRAN—the "infantile disorder"—, by now nearly 20 years old, is hopelessly inadequate for whatever computer application you have in mind today: it is now too clumsy, too risky, and too expensive to use.
  • People are very flexible and learn to adjust to strange surroundings — they can become accustomed to read Lisp and Fortran programs, for example.
    • Leon Sterling and Ehud Shapiro, Art of PROLOG, MIT Press.

Attributed[edit]

  • Consistently separating words by spaces became a general custom about the tenth century A.D., and lasted until about 1957, when FORTRAN abandoned the practice.
    • Sun FORTRAN Reference Manual.
  • Warning: Go directly to Jail. Do not pass GO. Do not collect $200.
  • "A computer without COBOL and FORTRAN is like a piece of chocolate cake without ketchup or mustard." — a fortune cookie from the Unix program fortune.

Misquoted[edit]

  • The primary purpose of the DATA statement is to give names to constants; instead of referring to pi as 3.141592653589793 at every appearance, the variable PI can be given that value with a DATA statement and used instead of the longer form of the constant. This also simplifies modifying the program, should the value of pi change.
Although this quote appears in different sources[1][2], the real manual does not mention the possibility of changing pi. The real quote is
The primary purpose of the DATA statement is to give names to constants. For example, instead of referring to as 3.141592653589793 at every appearance, the variable PI can be given that value with a DATA statement and used instead of the longer form of the constant. This also simplifies modifying the program, if a more accurate value is required.

External links[edit]

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has an article about:
  1. Durkee, John (2006-07-21) (in en). Management of Industrial Cleaning Technology and Processes. Elsevier. p. 251. ISBN 9780080464855. 
  2. . DATA statements... [rec.humor.funny]. www.netfunny.com.