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John Backus

John Backus (born 1924), computer scientist, inventor of the Fortran programming language developed at IBM for the 704 computer. The name 'FORTRAN' comes from FORmula TRANslation. This high level language allowed any mathmetician or scientist to use ordinary equation type english language to solve problems. The FORTRAN compiler would then translate that into thousands of machine language instructions to run on the various computers (90% IBM) of the day. The invention of FORTRAN along with LISP was one of the first steps to make the computer useful

See also: Backus-Naur form



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