Fortran (Fortran) – first implemented high level programming language (after Plankalkyulya), but with one small caveat – for machines built on the classical scheme of von Neumann. Created between 1954 and 1957 a team of programmers led by John Backus (John Backus) in for IBM. A couple of years it began commercial shipments. Prior to that programming was either directly in machine code, or a symbolic assembler. Fortran name is an acronym for FORmula TRANslator, ie, translator formulas.
Fortran is widely used primarily for scientific and engineering calculations. One of the advantages of modern Fortran – a large number written on it programs and subroutine libraries. Among scientists, for example, goes a saying that any mathematical problem already has a solution in Fortran, and, indeed, can be found among the thousands of packages and Fortran package for matrix multiplication, and the package for solving complex integral equations and many others. Several of these packages are designed for decades and still popular today (mainly in the scientific community).
Most of these libraries is actually a heritage of mankind: they are available in source code is well documented, maintained and very effective. Therefore change, and even more so to rewrite them in other programming languages expensive, despite the fact that regular attempts are made to automatically convert FORTRAN-code for modern programming languages.
Modern Fortran (Fortran 95 and Fortran 2003) acquired the features necessary for effective programming for new computing architectures; allows the use of modern programming techniques, in particular, the PLO.