FORTRAN T-shirt (Brent Hilpert)
cclist at sydex.com
Mon Aug 13 15:12:38 CDT 2007
On 13 Aug 2007 at 10:59, Brian Knittel wrote:
> I'm still wondering how on earth that demonstration
> snippet ended up on a T-shirt, but the owner really wasn't
> interested in talking about it. First off I don't think
> he spoke much English, second, I speak hardly any Spanish,
> and third, I think he found it impossible to imagine that
> someone was really that interested in the shirt. He probably
> thought I was hitting on him. (I have to admit, it's one of my
> more tired pickup lines: "Hey, is that FORTRAN on your shirt?")
> In any case he kind of squirmed around and wouldn't stand still
> long enough for me to really read it carefully. I had a second,
> third and fourth glance at it as we snaked through the check-in
> line at the airport.
I might be concerned that FORTRAN meant something unintended in
Spanish. Sabe Vd. que el FORTRAN está en su camisa? Er, maybe not.
There were so many FORTRAN variants; QUIKTRAN (no "C", sorry for the
original typo) was pretty unique as an interactive language for the
time. JOSS was about the same time, but it wasn't a "standard"
programming language and was actually pretty awkward. IITRAN, at the
time, was about the closest thing to interactive FORTRAN. It was
FORTRAN-ish, with many simplifications and limitations, and it only
ran on IIT's 360/40 AFAIK.
Although it's hard to appreciate today, great suspicion was cast
toward interactive programming at the time. "Real" programmers sat
down with coding pads and flowcharts and wrote their programs, desk-
checking everything, then had the code keypunched and compiled in
batch mode. It was odd, but machine time was valuable enough that it
was cheaper to have a programmer sweat with a No. 2 pencil and coding
pad and keypunch than to have the same programmer enter the program
on a remote terminal.
And that's why I remember QUIKTRAN--it was interactive, and did
syntax checking as statements were entered. I tried to get CDC
management interested in a "programmer's editor" that would run
interactively with syntax checking, but ran into a brick wall of
opposition. Chief among the claims were that it was too expensive to
have every programmer with a terminal and it would lead to "sloppy"
That was back around 1972.
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