Fwd: Re: Architectural diversity - was Re: Pair of Twiggys

Fred Cisin cisin at xenosoft.com
Thu Mar 16 21:26:40 CDT 2017

> Who was it who said, "FORTRAN is more portable than syphilis"

I found it!
I thought Djikstra, but it turned out to be Stan Kelly-Bootle:

"The definition of FORTRAN from the "Devil's DP Dictionary", by
Stan Kelly-Bootle:
"FORTRAN n. [Acronym for FORmula TRANslating system.]
  One of the earliest languages of any real height, level-wise, developed 
  of Speedcoding by Backus and Ziller for the IBM/704 in the mid 1950s in
  order to boost the sale of 80-column cards to engineers.
  In spite of regular improvements(including a recent option called
  'STRUCTURE'), it remains popular among engineers but despised elsewhere.
  Many rivals, with the benefit of hindsight, have crossed swords with
  the old workhorse ! Yet FORTRAN gallops on, warts and all, more
  transportable than syphilis, fired by a bottomless pit of working
  subprograms. Lacking the compact power of APL, the intellectually 
  elegance of ALGOL 68, the didactic incision of Pascal, and the spurned
  universality of PL/I, FORTRAN survives, nay, FLOURISHES, thanks to a
  superior investmental inertia."

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