FORTRAN and Other Programming Languages from the 50’s

FORTRAN-FORmula TRANslating system was invented in the year 1957. The language was very easy to use as it contained limited commands like GOTO, IF and DO. FORTRAN paved the way for today’s languages as it contained basic data types like integer, double precision, logical variables and real numbers which are very much used in today’s languages.

As in those days people were only looking for solving mathematical operations via programming languages, FORTRAN was a result of that need. This is why FORTRAN was amazing with numbers but was not the same in other areas, like handling input and output. As a result the language was not famous amongst businesses. When computers started getting into the businesses in the year 1959 A.D. the need for another language arose.

This is why COBOL was invented. From the beginning itself, COBOL was developed as a businessman’s language. The language was easier than FORTRAN to understand as it had only two types of data types; strings and numbers. The main feature of COBOL was to handle records, as businesses needed to keep an account of previous records. COBOL statements were related to the English language. This made it very easy for the businessman to get the grasp of the language better and they were able to adapt it easily.

In the year 1958 A.D. a new type of language was designed. It was called LISP-LISt Processing language. The main reason for the invention of this language was to explore the field of artificial intelligence. Syntax of the language was different from all the existing languages as the language dealt with a completely new area of concern. As the name suggests, the program in the LISP language are written as a set of lists that represents series of items. As a result of this the LISP programs have a distinctive ability to modify itself from time to time and consequently to develop on its own.

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