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F.6 FORTRAN
F.6 FORTRAN
FORTRAN is a contraction of Formula Translation, a name that comes from a technical report
entitled "The IBM Mathematical FORmula TRANslating System," written by John Backus and his
team at IBM in the mid-1950s. FORTRAN is primarily designed for scientific calculations and
has the distinction of being the first widely used high-level programming language. Backus made
some rather interesting claims about FORTRAN; for instance, it was not designed for its beauty (a
reasonable statement) but it would eliminate coding errors and the consequent debugging process!
Here is the FORTRAN version of our little averaging program. (Lines that begin with a C are
C FORTRAN PROGRAM TO COMPUTE THE AVERAGE
C OF A SET OF AT MOST 100 NUMBERS
Real SUM, AVE, NEXTNUM
SUM = 0.0
C Ask for the number of numbers
WRITE(*,*) 'Enter the number of numbers: '
C If Num is between 1 and 100 then proceed
IF NUM .GT. 0 .AND. NUM .LE. 100 then
C Loop to collect the numbers to average
DO 10 I = 1, NUM
WRITE(*,*) 'Enter next number: '
C Add the number to the running sum
SUM = SUM + NEXTNUM
10 CONTINUE
C Compute the average
AVE = SUM/NUM
C Display the average
WRITE(*,*) 'The average is: '
WRITE(*,*) AVE
ENDIF
STOP
END
F.7 COBOL
COBOL is an acronym for Common Business Oriented Language and it was developed in the late
1950s by Grace Hopper for the purpose of writing business-related programs, which she felt
should be written in English. However, it seems rather that the language was developed with the
express purpose of avoiding all mathematical-like notation. The inevitable consequence is that
conciseness and readability is also avoided.
At any rate, I could only bring myself to code a COBOL sample program that adds two numbers.
* COBOL PROGRAM TO ADD TWO NUMBERS

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