Computer Programming Languages: Fortran Essay

1295 words - 5 pages

Fortran is one of the thousands of different programming languages. A programming language is a set of grammatical rules or guidelines for a compiler to follow. A compiler is a program that converts a programming language into what is called the object code, which is usually binary. Object code is code that the computer or program can understand. Basically, programming languages are for us to be able to create programs and control a computer in a simpler way instead of using what the computer understands, object code. There are different levels of programming languages; the main ones being human language, high-level language, assembly language, and machine language. Human language is the various programming languages we use such as C++, Java, HTML, CSS, and Fortran. High-level language is simpler than human language, however, more complex than the languages that the computer itself understands. Assembly language and machine language are similar. The difference between these two languages is that machine language consists of only numbers while in assembly language, names can be substituted for numbers. Each central processing unit has its own distinctive machine language that it understands. No matter what type of language you use, your program eventually gets converted all the way down to machine language so the computer can understand it. This is where compilers come in. The reason there are so many different programming languages is because each and every one has its benefits and cons. Some languages create programs that are good for handling numerical data, such as Fortran, while others are used for complex object oriented programs. The type of language used depends on three main components; the type of program being written, the type of computer being used, and of course, the preference of the programmer. Programming languages make everything you do on a computer possible.
Now that you know the relation between programming languages and computers, let’s take a look at a specific programming language. Fortran is a very popular programming language and has been widely used since its birth in 1957. It is one of the oldest programming languages to date. Fortran is used mainly for programs that handle large amounts of numerical data and perform complex scientific computations. The prominent uses of Fortran include computation chemistry, numerical weather predication, computational fluid dynamics, computational physics, animal breeding, plant breeding, and element analysis. It has been used for programming air traffic control systems, payroll calculations, video games, numerous other applications and parallel computer research. Fortran is also used to write programs that rate and benchmark the fastest supercomputers in the world. It is one of the most accepted languages when it comes to powerful and complex computing. The idea of the programming language Fortran arose in late 1953. A man named John W. Backus was the man to thank for the...

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