FORTRAN’s Twenty-Fifth Anniversary

Today I got my hands on a copy of “FORTRAN’s Twenty-Fifth Anniversary” — a special issue of the Annals of the History of Computing, Volume 6, Number 1 (January 1984). This was originally published by the American Federation of Information Processing Societies (AFIPS), but is now published by the IEEE Computer Society.

This informative issue, edited by J.A.N. Lee and H.S. Tropp, is dedicated to the 1982 National Computer Conference Pioneer Day celebration of the 25th anniversary of Fortran. It contains edited transcripts of two Pioneer Day sessions:

  • Early Days of FORTRAN, chaired by John Backus.
  • Institutionalization of FORTRAN, chaired by Jeanne Adams

It also contains:

  • an introduction by J.A.N. Lee with background on the event, a list of the FORTRAN Pioneers (“members of the original development team and their direct associates, or those who made significant contributions to the language or its usage in the five years following the delivery of the first system”) and implementations of FORTRAN from 1957 to 1967.
  • an article by Daniel N. Leeson on the exhibit and film developed by IBM for this event
  • an annotated bibliography by J.A.N. Lee
  • a collection of anecdotes by Henry S. Tropp
  • a summary of the anniversary observance held at IBM Santa Teresa on July 15, 1982
  • an edited version of Elliott Nohr’s SHARE 59 paper about the early days of FORTRAN

Full versions of papers presented verbally at the Pioneer Day event were also published in the Proceedings of the 1982 NCC; of especial interest is:

Allen, Frances E., “A Technological Review of the FORTRAN I Compiler”, pp. 805-809.

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