My Fortran compiler is case-insensitive, and I’ve been slowly switching over from ALL CAPS to lowercase. Both are highly #aesthetic in their own way but I’m really liking the lowercase vibe:

I’m trembling. Fortran is still a thing???

I had a professor at uni who showed us some Fortran code he’d written and had told us if we wanted to learn the language to do that class’ projects he would be happy to teach us

(nobody took the offer)

I have a “numerical methods with fortran” book from the 80’s or something I bought at a bookstore for ¢50 because I thought it was an entertaining, novel, old thing. Now everyone’s telling me not only is Fortran still a thing, it’s everywhere??? Oh boy. Guess what I’m gonna read next week?

from what i gather it’s mostly physicists who learned it decades ago or are dealing with legacy code

I took Fortran in undergrad, though it was dated even then – it still gets used some for under-the-hood implementations of numerical algorithms. There’s R packages still written in Fortran, I think?

I gotta be honest, I barely remember it now but from what I do remember, it was really fun. It throws away most of the features you’d actually want in a serious language for the sake of speed, so I can’t imagine writing an actual application with it, but when you’re just like “okay, I want to implement this specific algorithm and not think about anything else”, it feels more straightforward and authentic somehow. It’s fucking wild, though, like: if you don’t declare a variable type, it assumes it’s an integer if its name begins with I, J, K, L, M, or N and floating point otherwise.

I can’t imagine using it nowadays with the numerical-methods people having largely moved on, but for something you could do with both, FORTRAN is probably more fun to write than C.

The interesting thing is, I don’t think there are any FORTRAN developers in the whole world. FORTRAN programmers, sure – but they have titles like “Senior Systems Architect” or “John.” FORTRAN is the old magic.

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