Algol vs Fortran was RE: VHDL vs Verilog
cclist at sydex.com
Mon Feb 8 18:27:50 CST 2010
On 8 Feb 2010 at 18:58, somebody wrote:
> > Here, here. The thing that impressed me about FORTRAN (well, as as
> > science major, anyway) was that it could do complex numbers as a
> > *NATIVE* datatype!! Now, I know for you OOP and C++ guys, custom,
> > exotic datatypes are a dime a dozen. But in 1980, I was sure glad I
> > could do complex math without all of the extra baggage that would
> > have been necessary if I had to use, say, BASIC-Plus.
Consider the vintage of FORTRAN--mainframes did not universally enjoy
computation in binary, much less ones' versus twos' complement.
Character sets were of differing content, collating sequence and
character length. Recursion as a permissable construct did not enter
the language until fairly late (some systems lacked native stack
facilities; the CDC 6000 series, like the PDP-8, simply stored a jump
to the return address at the entry point of a subroutine). I/O
implementation could be wildly different.
ANSI X3 committee meetings were more like political conventions in
some respects. I recall that when vector language features were being
proposed for Fortran 8X (to become Fortran 90), the DEC and IBM
contingent threatened to walk out of the proceedings because the
committee decided not to simply assume IBM VECTRAN as its basis.
It's really amazing that FORTRAN/Fortran is still around.
More information about the cctalk